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Methods Enzymol. 2013;525:311-25. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-397944-5.00015-8.

Isolation of mammalian primary cilia.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles found on most types of cells in the human body. Although primary cilia were long thought to be vestigial remnants of motile cilia, it is now known that primary cilia play important roles in development and physiology, and defects of primary cilia cause a wide range of human disease symptoms, termed ciliopathies. To understand ciliary functions and the molecular mechanisms underlying ciliopathies, it is important to know the components of primary cilia, but primary cilia have proven to be more difficult to isolate than motile cilia. This chapter describes the isolation and imaging of mammalian primary cilia for biochemical and cell biological analyses.

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