Getting to know your neighbor: cell polarization in early embryos

J Cell Biol. 2014 Sep 29;206(7):823-32. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201407064.


Polarization of early embryos along cell contact patterns--referred to in this paper as radial polarization--provides a foundation for the initial cell fate decisions and morphogenetic movements of embryogenesis. Although polarity can be established through distinct upstream mechanisms in Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus laevis, and mouse embryos, in each species, it results in the restriction of PAR polarity proteins to contact-free surfaces of blastomeres. In turn, PAR proteins influence cell fates by affecting signaling pathways, such as Hippo and Wnt, and regulate morphogenetic movements by directing cytoskeletal asymmetries.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastomeres / cytology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction