Cell polarity proteins and cancer

A10 IDENEllenbroek, S.I.J., Iden, S., Collard, J.G., Semin Cancer Biol. 2012 Jun;22(3):208-15. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2012.02.012. Epub 2012 Mar 23.



Cell polarity is essential in many biological processes and required for development as well as maintenance of tissue integrity. Loss of polarity is considered both a hallmark and precondition for human cancer. Three conserved polarity protein complexes regulate different modes of polarity that are conserved throughout numerous cell types and species. These complexes are the Crumbs, Par and Scribble complex. Given the importance of cell polarity for normal tissue homeostasis, aberrant polarity signaling is suggested to contribute to the multistep processes of human cancer. Most human cancers are formed from epithelial cells. Evidence confirming the roles for polarity proteins in different phases of the oncogenic trajectory comes from functional studies using mammalian cells as well as Drosophila and zebrafish models. Furthermore, several reports have revealed aberrant expression and localization of polarity proteins in different human tumors. In this review we will give an overview on the current data available that couple polarity signaling to tumorigenesis, particularly in epithelial cells.



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