Two PDZ-domain-containing adapter-like proteins, PAR-3 and PAR-6, and a protein kinase, atypical protein kinase C (PKC), cooperate together to establish cell polarity in a variety of biological contexts. These include asymmetric cell division in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo and Drosophila neuroblasts, as well as the establishment and maintenance of apical-basal polarity in Drosophila and mammalian epithelial cells. Recent studies on the role of this PAR-aPKC complex in epithelial cell polarization provide new insights into the molecular basis of epithelial junctional formation and cell polarity.
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