Synthesis and Sorting of Ion Pumps in Polarized Cells

Cara J. Gottardi, Grazia Pietrini, Monica J. Shiel, Michael J. Caplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses an extremely idiosyncratic view of some of the questions that currently occupy researchers in the field of cellular polarity. There is some utility, therefore, in establishing the meaning of polarity as well as in exploring its applications to the discussions contained within the chapter. When invoked in one of its several cell biologic contexts, the term polarity relates to the division of a cells plasma membrane into subdomains that manifest distinct biochemical compositions and functional properties. When this rather broad formulation is literally applied, evidence of polarity can be appreciated in a remarkably large menagerie of cell types. The most obvious exemplars of polarity are epithelia, whose plasmalemmas are divided into two morphologically distinguishable domains that are demarcated by intercellular junctional complexes and that confront separate body compartments. The chapter divides these elements into two categories— namely, sorting signals and sorting machinery. A sorting signal has been defined as any information embedded within the primary, secondary, or tertiary structure of a given protein that somehow specifies the proteins appropriate localization. Sorting machinery comprises all the cellular components and mechanisms that interpret a proteins sorting signal and act on that information to ensure that the protein accumulates at its site of ultimate functional residence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-168
Number of pages26
JournalCurrent topics in membranes
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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