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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2009 Feb;12(1):42-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.09.009. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Cell polarity in plants: a PARspective on PINs.

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Department of Plant Molecular Biology (DBMV), University of Lausanne, UNIL-Sorge, Biophore Building, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Plants have acquired the ability for organized multicellular development independent from animals. Because of this, they represent an independent example in nature for the development of coordinated, complex cell polarity from the simple polarity found in unicellular eukaryotes. Plants display a striking array of polarized cell types, with different axes of polarity being defined in one cell. The most investigated and best understood aspect of plant polarity is the apical-basal polarity of the PIN family of auxin efflux facilitators, which are of crucial importance for the organization of the entire plant body. Striking differences exist between the PAR-polarity modules known in animals and the ways PINs polarize plant cells. Nonetheless, a common regulatory logic probably applies to all polarizing eukaryotic cells, which includes self-reinforcing, positive feedback loops, intricate interactions between membrane-attached proteins, lipid signatures, and the targeting of transmembrane proteins to the correct domains of the plasma membrane.

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