Wnt-Dependent Control of Cell Polarity in Cultured Cells

  • Kristin B. Runkle
  • Eric S. WitzeEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1481)


The secreted ligand Wnt5a regulates cell polarity and polarized cell movement during development by signaling through the poorly defined noncanonical Wnt pathway. Cell polarity regulates most aspects of cell behavior including the organization of apical/basolateral membrane domains of epithelial cells, polarized cell divisions along a directional plane, and front rear polarity during cell migration. These characteristics of cell polarity allow coordinated cell movements required for tissue formation and organogenesis during embryonic development. Genetic model organisms have been used to identify multiple signaling pathways including Wnt5a that are required to establish cell polarity and regulate polarized cell behavior. However, the downstream signaling events that regulate these complex cellular processes are still poorly understood. The methods below describe assays to study Wnt5a-induced cell polarity in cultured cells, which may facilitate our understanding of these complex signaling pathways.

Key words

Wnt5a Noncanonical Wnt Cell polarity Cell adhesion molecules Cultured cells 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cancer BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Abramson Family Cancer Research InstituteUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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