Epithelial Cell Shape and Rho Small GTPases

  1. Gregory Bock Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Yasuyuki Fujita1 and
  2. Vania Braga2,*

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/047001766X.ch12

Signalling Networks in Cell Shape and Motility: Novartis Foundation Symposium 269

Signalling Networks in Cell Shape and Motility: Novartis Foundation Symposium 269

How to Cite

Fujita, Y. and Braga, V. (2005) Epithelial Cell Shape and Rho Small GTPases, in Signalling Networks in Cell Shape and Motility: Novartis Foundation Symposium 269 (eds G. Bock and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/047001766X.ch12

Author Information

  1. 1

    MRC Laboratory for Cell and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology Unit and Department of Biology, University College London, UK

  2. 2

    Cell & Molecular Biology Section, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, London SW72AZ, UK

*Cell & Molecular Biology Section, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, London SW72AZ, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 9 SEP 2005

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470011904

Online ISBN: 9780470017661

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Keywords:

  • cell–cell contact assembly;
  • epithelial polarization;
  • junction assembly;
  • actin reorganization;
  • epithelial sheets;
  • epithelial cytoskeleton;
  • stabilization of cadherin-dependent adhesion;
  • actin recruitment at puncta;
  • Rho family of small GTPases

Summary

In epithelial cells, morphology is intrinsically related to function. Typically, polarization (i.e. acquisition of a cuboidal cell shape) must occur prior to terminal differentiation and functionality of epithelial sheets. Extensive work has been performed to understand the initial steps that drive cell-cell contact assembly, a process that is essential for polarization. However, not much is known about the subsequent steps that lead to remodelling of actin cytoskeleton and concomitant cell shape changes. Here we review what is known about actin organization during epithelial polarization, and discuss current models for junction assembly, actin reorganization and signalling pathways that may contribute to the generation of a polarized epithelial morphology.