During development, a flat neural plate rolls up and closes to form a neural tube. This process, called neural tube closure, is complex and requires morphogenetic events to occur along multiple axes of the neural plate. Recent studies suggest that cell and tissue polarity play a major role in neural tube morphogenesis. While the planar cell polarity pathway is known to be involved in this process, a role for the apicobasal polarity pathway has only recently begun to be elucidated. These studies show that bone morphogenetic proteins can regulate the apicobasal polarity pathway in the neural plate in a cell cycle dependent manner. This dynamically modulates apical junctions in the neural plate, resulting in cell and tissue shape changes that help bend, shape and close the neural tube.
© 2012 The Authors Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2012 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.