J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (1): 132-147.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12904

Special Issue: Protein kinases

• Invited Expert Reviews For Plant Research Progress • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Cell polarity: Regulators and mechanisms in plants

Kezhen Yang1†*, Lu Wang2,3†, Jie Le1 and Juan Dong2,3*   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA
    3Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08901, USA

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Email: Kezhen Yang (ykzdsp@163.com); Juan Dong (dong@waksman.rutgers.edu, Dr. Dong is fully responsible for the distributions of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2019-12-10 Accepted:2019-12-25 Online:2019-12-30 Published:2020-01-01


Cell polarity plays an important role in a wide range of biological processes in plant growth and development. Cell polarity is manifested as the asymmetric distribution of molecules, for example, proteins and lipids, at the plasma membrane and/or inside of a cell. Here, we summarize a few polarized proteins that have been characterized in plants and we review recent advances towards understanding the molecular mechanism for them to polarize at the plasma membrane. Multiple mechanisms, including membrane trafficking, cytoskeletal activities, and protein phosphorylation, and so forth define the polarized plasma membrane domains. Recent discoveries suggest that the polar positioning of the proteo‐lipid membrane domain may instruct the formation of polarity complexes in plants. In this review, we highlight the factors and regulators for their functions in establishing the membrane asymmetries in plant development. Furthermore, we discuss a few outstanding questions to be addressed to better understand the mechanisms by which cell polarity is regulated in plants.

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