Form and Function

Science Signaling  14 Sep 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 139, pp. ec282
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3139ec282

The planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway governs cell movements that drive axis elongation and neural tube closure in vertebrate embryos, and certain vertebrate PCP proteins have also been implicated in ciliogenesis. Likewise, the septin cytoskeleton controls diverse cell behaviors, such as cytokinesis and cell migration, but little is known about how septin functions are regulated in vivo. Kim et al. (see the Perspective by Barral) found that control of septins by the PCP effector protein, Fritz, was a crucial control point for morphogenesis and ciliogenesis. During neural tube closure, Fritz-mediated septin localization maintained cell shape but not cell polarity. In ciliated epithelial cells, Fritz was required for assembly of the septin rings at the base of cilia, which are needed for normal ciliogenesis and signaling.

S. K. Kim, A. Shindo, T. J. Park, E. C. Oh, S. Ghosh, R. S. Gray, R. A. Lewis, C. A. Johnson, T. Attie-Bittach, N. Katsanis, J. B. Wallingford, Planar cell polarity acts through septins to control collective cell movement and ciliogenesis. Science 329, 1337–1340 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Y. Barral, Septins at the nexus. Science 329, 1289–1290 (2010).[Abstract] [Full Text]