Welcome to the Cell Polarity & Morphogenesis lab

April 15, 2016


Epithelial cells are a major cell type in multicellular organisms. During development, establishment of epithelial cell apical (Top) - basal (Bottom) polarity is crucial for organogenesis and loss of polarity is a hallmark of epithelial cancer. A number of conserved proteins regulate epithelial polarity - in Drosophila these are (i) Bazooka (Baz)/Par-6/aPKC, Crumbs/PATJ)/Stardust (ii) Lethal giant larvae /Disc large/Scribbled (iii) Yurt/coracle, Na+/K+ and (iv) Par1/Par5. However little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which these factors interact with each other in order to establish and remodel polarity at the cell cortex, and, how this leads to the morphogenesis of functionally specialized domains at the plasma membrane. To address this issue, we are using the geneticaly amenable developing fly photoreceptor, a sensory neuron that undergoes extensive epithelial remodeling during retinal morphogenesis. We also make use of human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco2) cultured in 2 and 3D.

Related publications  |    Walther et al., Cell Reports., 2016 [PDF]  |   Pichaud Dev. Biol., 2013 [PDF]  |   Fichelson et al., PNAS USA, 2012 [PDF]   |  Walther & Pichaud Current Biology, 2010 [PDF]   |  Richardson & Pichaud Development, 2010 [PDF]  | Pinal et al., Current Biology, 2006 [PDF]