Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Cell polarity inside-out

Abstract : Cell Polarity is defined as the structural, morphological, and functional asymmetry along an axis. This fundamental process can be separated into initiation or establishment, commonly referred to as symmetry breaking, and maintenance. For both steps, tight spatial and temporal control of signaling and cellular organization is critical and can be observed at sub-cellular, cellular, multicellular, and organismal scales. Cell polarity establishment is directed by intracellular and/or extracellular polarity cues, which eventually lead to a polarity signaling asymmetry via conserved proteins that control the dynamic organization of a range of intracellular components and processes, including cytoskeletal structures, organelles, and membrane trafficking. In addition, a variety of feedback loops play crucial roles in amplifying and strengthening small asymmetries both in space and time, which ultimately lead to robust polarity at subcellular to organismal scales. A. Riga et al. summarize recent advances with respect to the molecular mechanisms governing polarity protein interactions and signaling during apicalebasal epithelial polarity. Although it is abundantly clear that the localization of polarity signaling is crucial to induce cell polarization, a major question in the field is what initially controls the recruitment of these fundamental, and often evolutionary conserved, polarity complexes to specific subcellular locations. The review by R. Illukkumbura et al. shows how intracellular fluid flows participate in the intracellular patterning of polarity signaling. The interplay between polarity signaling and intracellular structures, in particular the cytoskeleton, is further illustrated in the review of J.C.M. Meiring et al. showing not only how intrinsically polarized microtubules contribute to a fundamentally polarized cell organization but also how their mechanical properties contribute to and enforce asymmetry. Together with microtubules and actin, the Golgi apparatus also appears to act as a key regulator of cell polarity both by controlling directed vesicular traffic and functioning as a localized signaling platform increasing the effective concentrations of key proteins (Y. Ravichandran et al.). Highly polarized plant and fungal cells develop in the absence of complex tissue-scale signaling and provide excellent models to study diverse cell polarity outcomes. With the example of polarized growth in filamentous fungi, M. Bassilana et al. illustrate the impact of vesicular traffic and lipid membrane composition on the generation of discrete regions of signaling proteins, which together contribute
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Marie Lemesle <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 30, 2020 - 10:27:15 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 12:54:02 PM


COCB Editorial - Cell polarity...
Files produced by the author(s)


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial 4.0 International License




Sandrine Etienne-Manneville, Robert Arkowitz. Cell polarity inside-out. Current Opinion in Cell Biology, Elsevier, 2020, 62, pp.iii-iv. ⟨10.1016/⟩. ⟨pasteur-02499228⟩



Record views


Files downloads