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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Apr;15(4):225-42. doi: 10.1038/nrm3775.

Organization and execution of the epithelial polarity programme.

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Margaret Dyson Vision Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, LC-301 New York City, New York 10065, USA.
Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 465 21st Avenue South, U 3209 MRB III, Nashville Tennessee 37232, USA.


Epithelial cells require apical-basal plasma membrane polarity to carry out crucial vectorial transport functions and cytoplasmic polarity to generate different cell progenies for tissue morphogenesis. The establishment and maintenance of a polarized epithelial cell with apical, basolateral and ciliary surface domains is guided by an epithelial polarity programme (EPP) that is controlled by a network of protein and lipid regulators. The EPP is organized in response to extracellular cues and is executed through the establishment of an apical-basal axis, intercellular junctions, epithelial-specific cytoskeletal rearrangements and a polarized trafficking machinery. Recent studies have provided insight into the interactions of the EPP with the polarized trafficking machinery and how these regulate epithelial polarization and depolarization.

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