Fidelity in planar cell polarity signalling.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The polarity of Drosophila wing hairs displays remarkable fidelity. Each of the approximately 30,000 wing epithelial cells constructs an actin-rich prehair that protrudes from its distal vertex and points distally. The distal location and orientation of the hairs is virtually error free, thus forming a nearly perfect parallel array. This process is controlled by the planar cell polarity signalling pathway. Here we show that interaction between two tiers of the planar cell polarity signalling mechanism results in the observed high fidelity. The first tier, mediated by the cadherin Fat, dictates global orientation by transducing a directional signal to individual cells. The second tier, orchestrated by the 7-pass transmembrane receptor Frizzled, aligns each cell's polarity with that of its neighbours through the action of an intercellular feedback loop, enabling polarity to propagate from cell to cell. We show that all cells need not respond correctly to the presumably subtle signal transmitted by Fat. Subsequent action of the Frizzled feedback loop is sufficient to align all the cells cooperatively. This economical system is therefore highly robust, and produces virtually error-free arrays.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ma, D; Yang, C-H; McNeill, H; Simon, MA; Axelrod, JD

Published Date

  • January 30, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 421 / 6922

Start / End Page

  • 543 - 547

PubMed ID

  • 12540853

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12540853

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-0836

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nature01366


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England