Planar cell polarity: coordinating morphogenetic cell behaviors with embryonic polarity

Dev Cell. 2011 Jul 19;21(1):120-33. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.06.011.


Planar cell polarization entails establishment of cellular asymmetries within the tissue plane. An evolutionarily conserved planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling system employs intra- and intercellular feedback interactions between its core components, including Frizzled, Van Gogh, Flamingo, Prickle, and Dishevelled, to establish their characteristic asymmetric intracellular distributions and coordinate planar polarity of cell populations. By translating global patterning information into asymmetries of cell membranes and intracellular organelles, PCP signaling coordinates morphogenetic behaviors of individual cells and cell populations with the embryonic polarity. In vertebrates, by polarizing cilia in the node/Kupffer's vesicle, PCP signaling links the anteroposterior to left-right embryonic polarity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Cilia / metabolism
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / embryology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Frizzled Receptors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Frizzled Receptors