Two Distinct Integrin-Mediated Mechanisms Contribute to Apical Lumen Formation in Epithelial Cells
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AbstractBackground: Formation of apical compartments underlies the morphogenesis of most epithelial organs during development. The extracellular matrix (ECM), particularly the basement membrane (BM), plays an important role in orienting the apico-basal polarity and thereby the positioning of apical lumens. Integrins have been recognized as essential mediators of matrix-derived polarity signals. The importance of b1-integrins in epithelial polarization is well established but the significance of the accompanying a-subunits have not been analyzed in detail.
Principal Findings: Here we demonstrate that two distinct integrin-dependent pathways regulate formation of apical lumens to ensure robust apical membrane biogenesis under different microenvironmental conditions; 1) a2b1- and a6b4- integrins were required to establish a basal cue that depends on Rac1-activity and guides apico-basal cell polarization. 2) a3b1-integrins were implicated in positioning of mitotic spindles in cysts, a process that is essential for Cdc42-driven epithelial hollowing.
Significance: Identification of the separate processes driven by particular integrin receptors clarifies the functional hierarchies between the different integrins co-expressed in epithelial cells and provides valuable insight into the complexity of cell-ECM interactions thereby guiding future studies addressing the molecular basis of epithelial morphogenesis during development and disease.
CitationPLoS One. 2011 May 6; 6(5):e19453