Epigenetically mediated ciliogenesis and cell cycle regulation, and their translational potential

Linda Xiaoyan Li, Xiaogang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Primary cilia biogenesis has been closely associated with cell cycle progression. Cilia assemble when cells exit the cell cycle and enter a quiescent stage at the post-mitosis phase, and disassemble before cells re-enter a new cell cycle. Studies have focused on how the cell cycle coordinates with the cilia assembly/disassembly process, and whether and how cilia biogenesis affects the cell cycle. Appropriate regulation of the functions and/or expressions of ciliary and cell-cycle-associated proteins is pivotal to maintaining bodily homeostasis. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone/chromatin modifications, are involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression and cilia biogenesis. In this review, first, we discuss how epigenetic mechanisms regulate cell cycle progression and cilia biogenesis through the regulation of DNA methylation and chromatin structures, to either promote or repress the transcription of genes associated with those processes and the modification of cytoskeleton network, including microtubule and actin. Next, we discuss the crosstalk between the cell cycle and ciliogenesis, and the involvement of epigenetic regulators in this process. In addition, we discuss cilia-dependent signaling pathways in cell cycle regulation. Understanding the mechanisms of how epigenetic regulators contribute to abnormal cell cycle regulation and ciliogenesis defects would lead to developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases, such as cancers, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and other ciliopathy-associated disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1662
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Cell cycle
  • Ciliogenesis
  • Epigenetic regulator
  • Primary cilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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