The cell cortex as mediator of pancreatic epithelial development and endocrine differentiation

Neha Ahuja, Ondine Cleaver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Organogenesis is the complex process of cells coordinating their own proliferation with changes to their shape, cell migration and cell–cell signaling, so that they transform into a three dimensional functional tissue, with its own custom range of differentiated cell types. Understanding when and where critical signals emanate from, and how those signals are transduced and interpreted, is the fundamental challenge of developmental biology. Here, we review recent findings regarding how progenitor cells interpret cues during pancreatic morphogenesis and how they coordinate cell fate determination. Recent evidence suggests that molecules located in the cell cortex play a crticial role in determining cellular behavior during pancreatic morphogenesis. Specifically, we find that control of cell adhesion, polarity, and constriction are all integral to both initiation of epithelial development and to later cell differentiation. Here, we review key molecules that coordinate these processes and suggest that the cell cortex acts as a signaling center that relays cues during pancreas development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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