Vertebrate epithelial cells in monolayers are asymmetrical in that their apical and basal membranes differ in morphology and function1–3. That this cell polarity depends on the presence of tight junctions can be demonstrated by labelling one surface of a cell monolayer in culture with fluorescent lectins and lipid probes, and subsequently observing whether the labels disperse to the opposite cell surfaces4,5. Here we report on a differential distribution of binding sites for the lectin wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) on the cells of Drosophila melanogaster larval fat body, and show that the pattern is correlated with the structural association between the cell surfaces and their overlying basement membrane.
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Rizki, T., Rizki, R. Basement membrane polarizes lectin binding sites of Drosophila larval fat body cells. Nature 303, 340–342 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1038/303340a0
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