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Nat Genet. 2008 Jul;40(7):871-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.104. Epub 2008 Jun 15.

Dishevelled controls apical docking and planar polarization of basal bodies in ciliated epithelial cells.

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Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology & Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


The planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling system governs many aspects of polarized cell behavior. Here, we use an in vivo model of vertebrate mucociliary epithelial development to show that Dishevelled (Dvl) is essential for the apical positioning of basal bodies. We find that Dvl and Inturned mediate the activation of the Rho GTPase specifically at basal bodies, and that these three proteins together mediate the docking of basal bodies to the apical plasma membrane. Moreover, we find that this docking involves a Dvl-dependent association of basal bodies with membrane-bound vesicles and the vesicle-trafficking protein, Sec8. Once docked, basal bodies again require Dvl and Rho for the planar polarization that underlies directional beating of cilia. These results demonstrate previously undescribed functions for PCP signaling components and suggest that a common signaling apparatus governs both apical docking and planar polarization of basal bodies.

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