Xenopus neural tube closure: A vertebrate model linking planar cell polarity to actomyosin contractions

Miho Matsuda, Sergei Y. Sokol

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Planar cell polarity (PCP) refers to the coordinated polarization of cells within the plane of a tissue. PCP is a controlled by a group of conserved proteins organized in a specific signaling pathway known as the PCP pathway. A hallmark of PCP signaling is the asymmetric localization of “core” PCP protein complexes at the cell cortex, although endogenous PCP cues needed to establish this asymmetry remain unknown. While the PCP pathway was originally discovered as a mechanism directing the planar organization of Drosophila epithelial tissues, subsequent studies in Xenopus and other vertebrates demonstrated a critical role for this pathway in the regulation of actomyosin-dependent morphogenetic processes, such as neural tube closure. Large size and external development of amphibian embryos allows live cell imaging, placing Xenopus among the best models of vertebrate neurulation at the molecular, cellular and organismal level. This review describes cross-talk between core PCP proteins and actomyosin contractility that ultimately leads to tissue-scale movement during neural tube closure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmphibian Models of Development and Disease
EditorsSergei Y. Sokol
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780128168332
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Actin
  • Mechanical force
  • Myosin II
  • Neuroectoderm
  • PCP
  • Vangl2
  • Wnt


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