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Annu Rev Genet. 2001;35:747-84.

Epithelial cell polarity and cell junctions in Drosophila.

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Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S3G5, Canada.


The polarized architecture of epithelial cells and tissues is a fundamental determinant of animal anatomy and physiology. Recent progress made in the genetic and molecular analysis of epithelial polarity and cellular junctions in Drosophila has led to the most detailed understanding of these processes in a whole animal model system to date. Asymmetry of the plasma membrane and the differentiation of membrane domains and cellular junctions are controlled by protein complexes that assemble around transmembrane proteins such as DE-cadherin, Crumbs, and Neurexin IV, or other cytoplasmic protein complexes that associate with the plasma membrane. Much remains to be learned of how these complexes assemble, establish their polarized distribution, and contribute to the asymmetric organization of epithelial cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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