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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2000 Oct;10(5):471-5.

Control of epithelial cell shape and polarity.

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Institut für Genetik, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstr. 1, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.


The polarised character of a cell is often obvious from its shape and is largely dependent on the actin cytoskeleton and the membrane-associated cell cortex---a dense network comprising spectrin and other related proteins. Spatially and functionally distinct protein scaffolds, assembled from transmembrane and cytoplasmic proteins, provide the cues for polarisation. Recent data have provided new insights into the molecular nature of these cues and the mechanisms by which they may be translated into a polarised phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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