Development

Polarity reversal during tissue remodeling

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Science  24 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6327, pp. 809-810
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6327.809-e

The epithelial-mesenchymal transition occurs when epithelial cells lose apicobasal polarity and cell-cell contacts and migrate into surrounding tissues as mesenchymal cells. Migration is crucial for gastrulation, neural tube formation, and cancer metastasis. However, the mechanisms underlying loss of polarity and cell movement are poorly understood. Burute et al. show that the centrosome position in epithelial cells changes from the periphery to the center of mesenchymal cells. The change in cell organization results in the transition from apicobasal polarity to front-rear polarity that precedes cell migration. Micropatterned cell culture showed that the mechanism is cell-intrinsic and governed by microtubule reorganization but is not influenced by neighboring cells.

J. Dev. Cell. 10.1016/j.devcel.12.004 (2016).

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