Cilia, centrosomes and skeletal muscle

Dominic C.H. Ng, Uda Y. Ho, Miranda D. Grounds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Primary cilia are non-motile, cell cycle-associated organelles that can be found on most vertebrate cell types. Comprised of microtubule bundles organised into an axoneme and anchored by a mature centriole or basal body, primary cilia are dynamic signalling platforms that are intimately involved in cellular responses to their extracellular milieu. Defects in ciliogenesis or dysfunction in cilia signalling underlie a host of developmental disorders collectively referred to as ciliopathies, reinforcing important roles for cilia in human health. Whilst primary cilia have long been recognised to be present in striated muscle, their role in muscle is not well understood. However, recent studies indicate important contributions, particularly in skeletal muscle, that have to date remained underappreciated. Here, we explore recent revelations that the sensory and signalling functions of cilia on muscle progenitors regulate cell cycle progression, trigger differentiation and maintain a commitment to myogenesis. Cilia disassembly is initiated during myoblast fusion. However, the remnants of primary cilia persist in multi-nucleated myotubes, and we discuss their potential role in late-stage differentiation and myofiber formation. Reciprocal interactions between cilia and the extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment described for other tissues may also inform on parallel interactions in skeletal muscle. We also discuss emerging evidence that cilia on fibroblasts/fibro– adipogenic progenitors and myofibroblasts may influence cell fate in both a cell autonomous and non-autonomous manner with critical consequences for skeletal muscle ageing and repair in response to injury and disease. This review addresses the enigmatic but emerging role of primary cilia in satellite cells in myoblasts and myofibers during myogenesis, as well as the wider tissue microenvironment required for skeletal muscle formation and homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9605
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Cilia, centrosomes and skeletal muscle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this