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Organogenesis. 2011 Jul-Sep;7(3):191-201. doi: 10.4161/org.7.3.18421. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Planar cell polarity in the mammalian eye lens.

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The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The major role of the eye lens is to transmit and focus images onto the retina. For this function, the lens needs to develop and maintain the correct shape, notably, the precise curvature and high-level order and organization of its elements. The lens is mainly comprised of highly elongated fiber cells with hexagonal cross-sectional profiles that facilitate regular packing. Collectively, they form concentrically arranged layers around the anterior-posterior polar axis, and their convex curvature contributes to the spheroidal shape of the lens. Although the lens has been a popular system for developmental studies, little is known about the mechanism(s) that underlies the development of its exquisite three-dimensional cellular architecture. In this review, we will describe our recent work, which shows how planar cell polarity (PCP) operates in lens and contributes to its morphogenesis. We believe that the lens will be a useful model system to study PCP in general and gain insights into mechanisms that generate high-level cellular order during development.

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