Molecular mechanisms of membrane polarity in renal epithelial cells

C. Campo, A. Mason, D. Maouyo, O. Olsen, D. Yoo, P. A. Welling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Exciting discoveries in the last decade have cast light onto the fundamental mechanisms that underlie polarized trafficking in epithelial cells. It is now clear that epithelial cell membrane asymmetry is achieved by a combination of intracellular sorting operations, vectorial delivery mechanisms and plasmalemma-specific fusion and retention processes. Several well-defined signals that specify polarized segregation, sorting, or retention processes have, now, been described in a number of proteins. The intracellular machineries that decode and act on these signals are beginning to be described. In addition, the nature of the molecules that associate with intracellular trafficking vesicles to coordinate polarized delivery, tethering, docking, and fusion are also becoming understood. Combined with direct visualization of polarized sorting processes with new technologies in live-cell fluorescent microscopy, new and surprising insights into these once-elusive trafficking processes are emerging. Here we provide a review of these recent advances within an historically relevant context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-99
Number of pages53
JournalReviews of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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