The subapical compartment: a novel sorting centre?

Trends Cell Biol. 1999 Apr;9(4):144-9. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(99)01512-3.


Establishment of plasma membrane polarity involves numerous intracellular sorting events. In the past few years, it has become apparent that there is a subapical, non-Golgi compartment located in the hub of the sorting pathways involved. This 'subapical compartment', which probably consists of a heterogeneous subset of functionally distinct domains related to endosomes, contains some well-characterized components involved in polarity-dependent sorting and targeting of proteins and lipids. This article discusses the evidence supporting the existence of such a compartment, its biogenesis and its role in cell polarity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology*
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Dogs
  • Endocytosis
  • Endosomes / physiology*
  • Endosomes / ultrastructure
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • Models, Biological


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins