Regulation of cell polarity by cell adhesion receptors

Klaus Ebnet, Daniel Kummer, Tim Steinbacher, Amrita Singh, Masanori Nakayama, Maja Matis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of cells to polarize is an intrinsic property of almost all cells and is required for the devlopment of most multicellular organisms. To develop cell polarity, cells integrate various signals derived from intrinsic as well as extrinsic sources. In the recent years, cell–cell adhesion receptors have turned out as important regulators of cellular polarization. By interacting with conserved cell polarity proteins, they regulate the recruitment of polarity complexes to specific sites of cell–cell adhesion. By initiating intracellular signaling cascades at those sites, they trigger their specific subcellular activation. Not surprisingly, cell–cell adhesion receptors regulate diverse aspects of cell polarity, including apico-basal polarity in epithelial and endothelial cells, front-to-rear polarity in collectively migrating cells, and planar cell polarity during organ development. Here, we review the recent developments highlighting the central roles of cell–cell adhesion molecules in the development of cell polarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-12
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadherin
  • Cell polarity
  • Cell–cell adhesion
  • Junctional adhesion molecule (JAM)
  • Planar cell polarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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