The core Planar Cell Polarity gene, Vangl2, maintains apical-basal organisation of the corneal epithelium

D. Alessio Panzica, Amy S. Findlay, Rianne Van Ladesteijn, J. Martin Collinson* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The role of the core planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway protein, Vangl2, was investigated in the corneal epithelium of the mammalian eye, a paradigm anatomical model of planar cell migration. The gene was conditionally knocked out in vivo and knocked down by siRNA, followed by immunohistochemical, behavioural and morphological analysis of corneal epithelial cells. The primary defects observed in vivo were of apical-basal organisation of the corneal epithelium, with abnormal stratification throughout life, mislocalisation of the cell membrane protein, Scribble, to the basal side of cells, and partial loss of the epithelial basement membrane. Planar defects in migration after wounding and in presence of an applied electric field were noted. However, knockdown of Vangl2 also retarded cell migration in individual cells that had no contact with their neighbours, which precluded a classic PCP mechanism. It is concluded that some of the planar polarity phenotypes in PCP mutants may arise from disruption of apical-basal polarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number1
Early online date17 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

This work was performed under Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) research grant BB/J015237/1 to JMC. DAP was funded by an Anatomical Society PhD Studentship whose support is gratefully acknowledged. ASF was funded by a BBSRC DTG PhD Studentship. We thank staff at the Medical Research Facility and Aberdeen Microscopy Services for technical assistance.


  • cornea
  • epithelium
  • planar cell polarity
  • Vangl2
  • apical-basal polarity


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