Electrochemical regulation of cell polarity and the cytoskeleton

Authors


  • Monitoring Editor: Pekka Lappalainen

Abstract

Cell polarity plays a key role in regulating cell–cell communication, tissue architecture, and development. Both internal and external cues participate in directing polarity and feedback onto each other for robust polarization. One poorly appreciated layer of polarity regulation comes from electrochemical signals spatially organized at the level of the cell or the tissue. These signals which include ion fluxes, membrane potential gradients, or even steady electric fields, emerge from the polarized activation of specific ion transporters, and may guide polarity in wound-healing, development or regeneration. How a given electrochemical cue may influence cytoskeletal elements and cell polarity remains unclear. Here, we review recent progress highlighting the role of electrochemical signals in cell and tissue spatial organization, and elucidating the mechanisms for how such signals may regulate cytoskeletal assembly for cell polarity. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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