Dishevelled controls apical docking and planar polarization of basal bodies in ciliated epithelial cells

Nat Genet. 2008 Jul;40(7):871-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.104. Epub 2008 Jun 15.


The planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling system governs many aspects of polarized cell behavior. Here, we use an in vivo model of vertebrate mucociliary epithelial development to show that Dishevelled (Dvl) is essential for the apical positioning of basal bodies. We find that Dvl and Inturned mediate the activation of the Rho GTPase specifically at basal bodies, and that these three proteins together mediate the docking of basal bodies to the apical plasma membrane. Moreover, we find that this docking involves a Dvl-dependent association of basal bodies with membrane-bound vesicles and the vesicle-trafficking protein, Sec8. Once docked, basal bodies again require Dvl and Rho for the planar polarization that underlies directional beating of cilia. These results demonstrate previously undescribed functions for PCP signaling components and suggest that a common signaling apparatus governs both apical docking and planar polarization of basal bodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Communication / genetics*
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Polarity / genetics*
  • Cilia* / metabolism
  • Cilia* / physiology
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Models, Biological
  • Organogenesis / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport / genetics
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins / genetics
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins / physiology
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • DVL1 protein, Xenopus
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Rnd1 protein, Xenopus
  • Sec8 protein, Xenopus
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins