Polarity and stratification of the epidermis

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 Oct;23(8):890-6. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Aug 31.


Polarity is a fundamental property of epithelial cells. In this review, we discuss our current knowledge of the polarity of a stratified epithelium, the epidermis, focusing on similarities and differences with simple epithelial models. We highlight how the differences in tissue architecture and physiology result in alterations in some aspects of cell polarity. In addition, we discuss one of the most prominent uses for cell polarity in the epidermis-orienting the mitotic spindle to drive the stratification and differentiation of this tissue during development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology


  • Membrane Proteins