Many tissues develop coordinated patterns of cell polarity that align with respect to the tissue axes. This phenomenon refers to planar cell polarity (PCP) and is controlled by multiple conserved PCP modules. A key feature of PCP proteins is their asymmetric localization within the tissue plane, whose orientation is guided by global directional cues. Here, we highlight current models and recent findings on the role of tissue-level gradients, local organizer signals, and mechanical forces in establishing the global patterns of PCP.
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