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Cells 2016, 5(3), 32; doi:10.3390/cells5030032

Intermediate Filaments and Polarization in the Intestinal Epithelium

Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy, RWTH Aachen University, Wendlingweg 2, Aachen 52074, Germany
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Academic Editor: Alexander E. Kalyuzhny
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond Cell Mechanics: Novel Functions of Intermediate Filaments)
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Abstract

The cytoplasmic intermediate filament cytoskeleton provides a tissue-specific three-dimensional scaffolding with unique context-dependent organizational features. This is particularly apparent in the intestinal epithelium, in which the intermediate filament network is localized below the apical terminal web region and is anchored to the apical junction complex. This arrangement is conserved from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to humans. The review summarizes compositional, morphological and functional features of the polarized intermediate filament cytoskeleton in intestinal cells of nematodes and mammals. We emphasize the cross talk of intermediate filaments with the actin- and tubulin-based cytoskeleton. Possible links of the intermediate filament system to the distribution of apical membrane proteins and the cell polarity complex are highlighted. Finally, we discuss how these properties relate to the establishment and maintenance of polarity in the intestine. View Full-Text
Keywords: keratin; cytokeratin; endotube; brush border; C. elegans apical junction; desmosome; γ-tubulin ring complex; atypical protein kinase C; PAR proteins keratin; cytokeratin; endotube; brush border; C. elegans apical junction; desmosome; γ-tubulin ring complex; atypical protein kinase C; PAR proteins
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Coch, R.A.; Leube, R.E. Intermediate Filaments and Polarization in the Intestinal Epithelium. Cells 2016, 5, 32.

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