Elaborating polarity: PAR proteins and the cytoskeleton

Development. 2011 Mar;138(5):799-809. doi: 10.1242/dev.053538.


Cell polarity is essential for cells to divide asymmetrically, form spatially restricted subcellular structures and participate in three-dimensional multicellular organization. PAR proteins are conserved polarity regulators that function by generating cortical landmarks that establish dynamic asymmetries in the distribution of effector proteins. Here, we review recent findings on the role of PAR proteins in cell polarity in C. elegans and Drosophila, and emphasize the links that exist between PAR networks and cytoskeletal proteins that both regulate PAR protein localization and act as downstream effectors to elaborate polarity within the cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Drosophila
  • Receptors, Proteinase-Activated / metabolism
  • Receptors, Proteinase-Activated / physiology*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Receptors, Proteinase-Activated