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A cell polarity protein aPKCλ is required for eye lens formation and growth

Sugiyama, Yuki; Akimoto, Kazunori; Robinson, Michael L.; Ohno, Shigeo; Quinlan, Roy A.

A cell polarity protein aPKCλ is required for eye lens formation and growth Thumbnail


Yuki Sugiyama

Kazunori Akimoto

Michael L. Robinson

Shigeo Ohno


The organisation of individual cells into a functional three-dimensional tissue is still a major question in developmental biology. Modulation of epithelial cell shape is a critical driving force in forming tissues. This is well illustrated in the eye lens where epithelial cells elongate extensively during their differentiation into fibre cells. It is at the lens equator that epithelial cells elongate along their apical–basal axis. During this process the elongating epithelial cells and their earliest fibre cell derivatives remain anchored at their apical tips, forming a discrete region or modiolus, which we term the lens fulcrum. How this is achieved has received scant attention and is little understood. Here, we show that conditional depletion of aPKCλ, a central effector of the PAR polarity complex, disrupts the apical junctions in elongating epithelial cells so that the lens fulcrum fails to form. This results in disorganised fibre cell alignment that then causes cataract. Interestingly, aPKCλ depletion also promotes epithelial–mesenchymal transition of the lens epithelial cells, reducing their proliferation, leading ultimately to a small lens and microphthalmia. These observations indicate that aPKCλ, a regulator of polarity and apical junctions, is required for development of a lens that is the correct size and shape.


Sugiyama, Y., Akimoto, K., Robinson, M. L., Ohno, S., & Quinlan, R. A. (2009). A cell polarity protein aPKCλ is required for eye lens formation and growth. Developmental Biology, 336(2), 246-256.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2009
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2009
Publication Date Dec 15, 2009
Deposit Date Apr 23, 2012
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2017
Journal Developmental Biology
Print ISSN 0012-1606
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 336
Issue 2
Pages 246-256
Keywords Lens, aPKC, Polarity, Cell junction, Proliferation.


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Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)<br /> © 2009 Elsevier Inc This article is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). <br /> You may distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text or data mine the article, including for commercial purposes without permission from Elsevier. The original work must always be appropriately credited.

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