Context matters: Lessons in epithelial polarity from the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine and other tissues
Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Epithelia are tissues with diverse morphologies and functions across metazoans, ranging from vast cell sheets encasing internal organs to internal tubes facilitating nutrient uptake, all of which require establishment of apical-basolateral polarity axes. While all epithelia tend to polarize the same components, how these components are deployed to drive polarization is largely context-dependent and likely shaped by tissue-specific differences in development and ultimate functions of polarizing primordia. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers exceptional imaging and genetic tools and possesses unique epithelia with well-described origins and roles, making it an excellent model to investigate polarity mechanisms. In this review, we highlight the interplay between epithelial polarization, development, and function by describing symmetry breaking and polarity establishment in a particularly well-characterized epithelium, the C. elegans intestine. We compare intestinal polarization to polarity programs in two other C. elegans epithelia, the pharynx and epidermis, correlating divergent mechanisms with tissue-specific differences in geometry, embryonic environment, and function. Together, we emphasize the importance of investigating polarization mechanisms against the backdrop of tissue-specific contexts, while also underscoring the benefits of cross-tissue comparisons of polarity.
National Institutes of Health
Apical-basolateral, C. elegans, Epithelia, Epithelial polarity, Intestine, Polarity establishment, Symmetry breaking
Victor F. Naturale, Melissa A. Pickett, and Jessica L. Feldman. "Context matters: Lessons in epithelial polarity from the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine and other tissues" Current Topics in Developmental Biology (2023): 37-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.ctdb.2023.02.007