Most epithelial cells polarize along the axis of the tissue, a feature known as planar cell polarity (PCP). The initiation of PCP requires cell–cell signaling via the noncanonical Wnt/PCP pathway. Additionally, changes in the cytoskeleton both facilitate and reflect this polarity. We have identified CLAMP/Spef1 as a novel regulator of PCP signaling. In addition to decorating microtubules (MTs) and the ciliary rootlet, a pool of CLAMP localizes at the apical cell cortex. Depletion of CLAMP leads to the loss of PCP protein asymmetry, defects in cilia polarity, and defects in the angle of cell division. Additionally, depletion of CLAMP leads to a loss of the atypical cadherin-like molecule Celrs2, suggesting that CLAMP facilitates the stabilization of junctional interactions responsible for proper PCP protein localization. Depletion of CLAMP also affects the polarized organization of MTs. We hypothesize that CLAMP facilitates the establishment of cell polarity and promotes the asymmetric accumulation of MTs downstream of the establishment of proper PCP.
- Submitted: 9 June 2017
- Revision received 1 January 2018
- Accepted: 12 February 2018