Apico-basolateral polarization is essential for epithelial cells to function as selective barriers and transporters, and to provide mechanical resilience to organs. Epithelial polarity is established locally, within individual cells to establish distinct apical, junctional and basolateral domains, and globally, within a tissue where cells coordinately orient their apico-basolateral axes. Using live imaging of endogenously tagged proteins and tissue-specific protein depletion in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryonic intestine, we found that local and global polarity establishment are temporally and genetically separable. Local polarity is initiated prior to global polarity and is robust to perturbation. PAR-3 is required for global polarization across the intestine but local polarity can arise in its absence, as small groups of cells eventually established polarized domains in PAR-3-depleted intestines in a HMR-1 (E-cadherin)dependent manner. Despite the role of PAR-3 in localizing PKC-3 to the apical surface, we additionally found that PAR-3 and PKC-3/ aPKC have distinct roles in the establishment and maintenance of local and global polarity. Taken together, our results indicate that different mechanisms are required for local and global polarity establishment in vivo.
National Institutes of Health
Apico-basolateral polarity, aPKC/PKC-3, Caenorhabditis elegans, Intestine, Par3/PAR-3
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Melissa A. Pickett, Maria D. Sallee, Lauren Cote, Victor F. Naturale, Deniz Akpinaroglu, Joo Lee, Kang Shen, and Jessica L. Feldman. "Separable mechanisms drive local and global polarity establishment in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal epithelium" Development (Cambridge) (2022). https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.200325