LMCB - MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology


New publication in Journal of Cell Science for Pichaud Lab

New publication in Journal of Cell Science by the Pichaud Lab reviews how the small RhoGTPase Cdc42 regulates cell polarity in epithelial cells, which make up most of our organs.

Abstract from the article:

Cdc42 – a member of the small Rho GTPase family – regulates cell polarity across organisms from yeast to humans. It is an essential regulator of polarized morphogenesis in epithelial cells, through coordination of apical membrane morphogenesis, lumen formation and junction maturation. In parallel, work in yeast and Caenorhabditis elegans has provided important clues as to how this molecular switch can generate and regulate polarity through localized activation or inhibition, and cytoskeleton regulation. Recent studies have revealed how important and complex these regulations can be during epithelial morphogenesis. This complexity is mirrored by the fact that Cdc42 can exert its function through many effector proteins. In epithelial cells, these include atypical PKC (aPKC, also known as PKC-3), the P21- activated kinase (PAK) family, myotonic dystrophy-related Cdc42 binding kinase beta (MRCKβ, also known as CDC42BPB) and neural Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASp, also known as WASL). Here, we review how the spatial regulation of Cdc42 promotes polarity and polarized morphogenesis of the plasma membrane, with a focus on the epithelial cell type.