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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Nov;9(11):874-86. doi: 10.1038/nrm2524.

Organelle positioning and cell polarity.

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  • 1Compartimentation et Dynamique Cellulaires, UMR144 CNRS-Institut Curie, 26 rue d'Ulm, 75 248, Paris cedex 05, France.


In spite of conspicuous differences in their polarized architecture, swimming unicellular eukaryotes and migrating cells from metazoa display a conserved hierarchical interlocking of the main cellular compartments, in which the microtubule network has a dominant role. A microtubule array can organize the distribution of endomembranes owing to a cell-wide and polarized extension around a unique nucleus-associated structure. The nucleus-associated structure in animal cells contains a highly conserved organelle, the centriole or basal body. This organelle has a defined polarity that can be transmitted to the cell. Its conservative mode of duplication seems to be a core mechanism for the transmission of polarities through cell division.

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