Beyond polymer polarity: How the cytoskeleton builds a polarized cell

Rong Li, Gregg G. Gundersen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


Cell polarity relies on the asymmetric organization of cellular components and structures. Actin and microtubules are well suited to provide the structural basis for cell polarization because of their inherent structural polarity along the polymer lattices and intrinsic dynamics that allow them to respond rapidly to polarity cues. In general, the actin cytoskeleton drives the symmetry-breaking process that enables the establishment of a polarized distribution of regulatory molecules, whereas microtubules build on this asymmetry and maintain the stability of the polarized organization. Crosstalk coordinates the functions of the two cytoskeletal systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-873
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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