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Dev Biol 1988 Feb 01;1252:255-64. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(88)90209-6.
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Contact-independent polarization of the cell surface and cortex of free sea urchin blastomeres.

Schroeder TE .

In a normal, intact sea urchin embryo blastomeres are structurally polarized so that all microvilli and cortical "pigment granules" are situated at the apical surfaces facing the hyaline layer and are absent from basolateral surfaces facing adjacent blastomeres and the internal embryonic cavity. To test the roles of intercellular contacts and the hyaline layer in the process of establishing this blastomere polarity, these two factors were experimentally eliminated; sea urchin eggs of four species were denuded of the nascent hyaline layer soon after fertilization and then cultured in calcium-free artificial seawater to prevent subsequent intercellular adhesion and contact. Such free blastomeres divided normally and still developed polarized distributions of microvilli and pigment granules resembling those of the corresponding blastomeres in intact embryos. These results indicate that the process of polarization is intrinsic to individual blastomeres (self-polarization) and that neither intercellular contacts nor adhesion of microvilli to the hyaline layer is necessary. The precise temporal and spatial coincidence of the patterns of polarization and the division cycles further suggests that a mechanistic link is maintained among cell division, blastomere polarization, and probably also a heritable component of the animal-vegetal axis.

PubMed ID: 3338614
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115919910