Novel approaches to link apicobasal polarity to cell fate specification

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2020 Feb;62:78-85. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2019 Nov 12.


Understanding the development of apicobasal polarity (ABP) is a long-standing problem in biology. The molecular components involved in the development and maintenance of APB have been largely identified and are known to have ubiquitous roles across organisms. Our knowledge of the functional consequences of ABP establishment and maintenance is far less comprehensive. Recent studies using novel experimental approaches and cellular models have revealed a growing link between ABP and the genetic program of cell lineage. This mini-review describes some of the most recent advances in this new field, highlighting examples from Caenorhabditis elegans and mouse embryos, human pluripotent stem cells, and epithelial cells. We also speculate on the most interesting and challenging avenues that can be explored.

Keywords: Apico-basal polarity; Differentiation; Single cell; Stem cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice