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J Cell Sci. 2012 Mar 1;125(Pt 5):1177-90. doi: 10.1242/jcs.091884. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Assembly of Bazooka polarity landmarks through a multifaceted membrane-association mechanism.

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1
Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada.

Abstract

Epithelial cell polarity is essential for animal development. The scaffold protein Bazooka (Baz/PAR-3) forms apical polarity landmarks to organize epithelial cells. However, it is unclear how Baz is recruited to the plasma membrane and how this is coupled with downstream effects. Baz contains an oligomerization domain, three PDZ domains, and binding regions for the protein kinase aPKC and phosphoinositide lipids. With a structure-function approach, we dissected the roles of these domains in the localization and function of Baz in the Drosophila embryonic ectoderm. We found that a multifaceted membrane association mechanism localizes Baz to the apical circumference. Although none of the Baz protein domains are essential for cortical localization, we determined that each contributes to cortical anchorage in a specific manner. We propose that the redundancies involved might provide plasticity and robustness to Baz polarity landmarks. We also identified specific downstream effects, including the promotion of epithelial structure, a positive-feedback loop that recruits aPKC, PAR-6 and Crumbs, and a negative-feedback loop that regulates Baz.

PMID:
22303000
DOI:
10.1242/jcs.091884
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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