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Nat Cell Biol. 2012 Dec;14(12):1235-43. doi: 10.1038/ncb2635.

Role of membrane traffic in the generation of epithelial cell asymmetry.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA. gla6@pitt.edu

Abstract

Epithelial cells have an apical-basolateral axis of polarity, which is required for epithelial functions including barrier formation, vectorial ion transport and sensory perception. Here we review what is known about the sorting signals, machineries and pathways that maintain this asymmetry, and how polarity proteins interface with membrane-trafficking pathways to generate membrane domains de novo. It is becoming apparent that membrane traffic does not simply reinforce polarity, but is critical for the generation of cortical epithelial cell asymmetry.

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