Review Article | Published:

Spindle orientation during asymmetric cell division

Nature Cell Biology volume 11, pages 365374 (2009) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Development of a multicellular organism from a fertilized egg depends on a precise balance between symmetric cell divisions to expand the pool of similar cells, and asymmetric cell divisions to create cell-type diversity. Spindle orientation can influence the generation of symmetric or asymmetric cell fates depending on how it is coupled to cell-intrinsic polarity cues, or how it is positioned relative to cell-extrinsic cues such as niche-derived signals. In this review, we describe the mechanism of spindle orientation in budding yeast, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian neural progenitors, with the goal of highlighting conserved mechanisms and indicating open questions for the future.

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Acknowledgements

We thank S. Siegrist for discussions; B. Bowerman, C. Cabernard, C. Johnston, K. Prehoda and S. Siegrist for comments on the manuscript and L. Chen in whose lab this work was completed. We apologize to all authors whose primary papers could not be cited because of space constraints.

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    • Karsten H. Siller

    Current address: Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. USA.

Affiliations

  1. Institute of Molecular Biology, Institute of Neuroscience, Howard Hughes Medical Institute 1254, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.

    • Karsten H. Siller
    •  & Chris Q. Doe

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Correspondence to Chris Q. Doe.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/ncb0409-365

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