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A cell polarity protein aPKCλ is required for eye lens formation and growth.

Sugiyama, Yuki and Akimoto, Kazunori and Robinson, Michael L. and Ohno, Shigeo and Quinlan, Roy A. (2009) 'A cell polarity protein aPKCλ is required for eye lens formation and growth.', Developmental biology., 336 (2). pp. 246-256.


The organisation of individual cells into a functional three-dimensional tissue is still a major question in developmental biology. Modulation of epithelial cell shape is a critical driving force in forming tissues. This is well illustrated in the eye lens where epithelial cells elongate extensively during their differentiation into fibre cells. It is at the lens equator that epithelial cells elongate along their apical–basal axis. During this process the elongating epithelial cells and their earliest fibre cell derivatives remain anchored at their apical tips, forming a discrete region or modiolus, which we term the lens fulcrum. How this is achieved has received scant attention and is little understood. Here, we show that conditional depletion of aPKCλ, a central effector of the PAR polarity complex, disrupts the apical junctions in elongating epithelial cells so that the lens fulcrum fails to form. This results in disorganised fibre cell alignment that then causes cataract. Interestingly, aPKCλ depletion also promotes epithelial–mesenchymal transition of the lens epithelial cells, reducing their proliferation, leading ultimately to a small lens and microphthalmia. These observations indicate that aPKCλ, a regulator of polarity and apical junctions, is required for development of a lens that is the correct size and shape.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Lens, aPKC, Polarity, Cell junction, Proliferation.
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Publisher statement:Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) © 2009 Elsevier Inc This article is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). You may distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text or data mine the article, including for commercial purposes without permission from Elsevier. The original work must always be appropriately credited.
Date accepted:05 October 2009
Date deposited:20 December 2017
Date of first online publication:14 October 2009
Date first made open access:No date available

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