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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2001 Oct;13(5):641-8.

Intercellular junctions and cellular polarity: the PAR-aPKC complex, a conserved core cassette playing fundamental roles in cell polarity.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9, Fuku-ura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.


Two PDZ-domain-containing adapter-like proteins, PAR-3 and PAR-6, and a protein kinase, atypical protein kinase C (PKC), cooperate together to establish cell polarity in a variety of biological contexts. These include asymmetric cell division in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo and Drosophila neuroblasts, as well as the establishment and maintenance of apical-basal polarity in Drosophila and mammalian epithelial cells. Recent studies on the role of this PAR-aPKC complex in epithelial cell polarization provide new insights into the molecular basis of epithelial junctional formation and cell polarity.

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