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Trends Cell Biol. 2010 Oct;20(10):618-26. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.08.004.

Recycling endosomes in apical plasma membrane domain formation and epithelial cell polarity.

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Department of Cell Biology, section Membrane Cell Biology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Recycling endosomes have taken central stage in the intracellular sorting and polarized trafficking of apical and basolateral plasma membrane components. Molecular players in the underlying mechanisms are now emerging, including small GTPases, class V myosins and adaptor proteins. In particular, defects in the expression or function of these recycling endosome-associated and endosome-regulating proteins have been implicated in cell surface polarity defects and diseases, including microvillus inclusion disease, arthrogryposis-renal dysfunction-cholestasis syndrome, and virus susceptibility. Key findings are that recycling endosomes recruit and deliver core polarity proteins to lateral cell surfaces and initiate the biogenesis of apical plasma membrane domains and epithelial cell polarity. Here, we review recent data that implicate recycling endosomes in the establishment and maintenance of epithelial cell polarity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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