Robust polarity establishment occurs via an endocytosis-based cortical corralling mechanism

J Cell Biol. 2013 Feb 18;200(4):407-18. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201206081. Epub 2013 Feb 11.


Formation of a stable polarity axis underlies numerous biological processes. Here, using high-resolution imaging and complementary mathematical modeling we find that cell polarity can be established via the spatial coordination of opposing membrane trafficking activities: endocytosis and exocytosis. During polarity establishment in budding yeast, these antagonistic processes become apposed. Endocytic vesicles corral a central exocytic zone, tightening it to a vertex that establishes the polarity axis for the ensuing cell cycle. Concomitantly, the endocytic system reaches an equilibrium where internalization events occur at a constant frequency. Endocytic mutants that failed to initiate periodic internalization events within the corral displayed wide, unstable polarity axes. These results, predicted by in silico modeling and verified by high resolution in vivo studies, identify a requirement for endocytic corralling during robust polarity establishment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Models, Biological*
  • Protein Transport
  • Saccharomyces / cytology*
  • Saccharomyces / metabolism
  • Stochastic Processes