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Front Immunol. 2014 Feb 3;5:26. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00026. eCollection 2014.

Polarized cells, polarized views: asymmetric cell division in hematopoietic cells.

Author information

1
Immune Signalling Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre , East Melbourne, VIC , Australia ; Centre for Micro-Photonics, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology , Hawthorn, VIC , Australia.
2
Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne , Melbourne, VIC , Australia.
3
Immune Signalling Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre , East Melbourne, VIC , Australia ; Centre for Micro-Photonics, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology , Hawthorn, VIC , Australia ; Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne , Melbourne, VIC , Australia ; Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne , Melbourne, VIC , Australia.

Abstract

It has long been recognized that alterations in cell shape and polarity play important roles in coordinating lymphocyte functions. In the last decade, a new aspect of lymphocyte polarity has attracted much attention, termed asymmetric cell division (ACD). ACD has previously been shown to dictate or influence many aspects of development in model organisms such as the worm and the fly, and to be disrupted in disease. Recent observations that ACD also occurs in lymphocytes led to exciting speculations that ACD might influence lymphocyte differentiation and function, and leukemia. Dissecting the role that ACD might play in these activities has not been straightforward, and the evidence to date for a functional role in lymphocyte fate determination has been controversial. In this review, we discuss the evidence to date for ACD in lymphocytes, and how it might influence lymphocyte fate. We also discuss current gaps in our knowledge, and suggest approaches to definitively test the physiological role of ACD in lymphocytes.

KEYWORDS:

asymmetric cell division; cell fate; cell polarity; immunological synapse; scribble complex

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