Primary cilia play a key role in the ability of cells to respond to extracellular stimuli, such as signaling molecules and environmental cues. These sensory organelles are crucial to the development of many organ systems, and defects in primary ciliogenesis lead to multisystemic genetic disorders, known as ciliopathies. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of several key aspects of the regulation of ciliogenesis. Primary ciliogenesis is thought to take different pathways depending on cell type, and some recent studies shed new light on the cell-type-specific mechanisms regulating ciliogenesis at the apical surface in polarized epithelial cells, which are particularly relevant for many ciliopathies. Furthermore, recent findings have demonstrated the importance of actin cytoskeleton dynamics in positively and negatively regulating multiple stages of ciliogenesis, including the vesicular trafficking of ciliary components and the positioning and docking of the basal body. Finally, studies on the formation of motile cilia in multiciliated epithelial cells have revealed requirements for actin remodeling in this process too, as well as showing evidence of an additional alternative ciliogenesis pathway.

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