A role for core planar polarity proteins in cell contact-mediated orientation of planar cell division across the mammalian embryonic skin
The question of how cell division orientation is determined is fundamentally important for understanding tissue and organ shape in both healthy or disease conditions. Here we provide evidence for cell contact-dependent orientation of planar cell division in the mammalian embryonic skin. We propose a model where the core planar polarity proteins Celsr1 and Frizzled-6 (Fz6) communicate the long axis orientation of interphase basal cells to neighbouring basal mitoses so that they align their horizontal division plane along the same axis. The underlying mechanism requires a direct, cell surface, planar polarised cue, which we posit depends upon variant post-translational forms of Celsr1 protein coupled to Fz6. Our hypothesis has parallels with contact-mediated division orientation in early C. elegans embryos suggesting functional conservation between the adhesion-GPCRs Celsr1 and Latrophilin-1. We propose that linking planar cell division plane with interphase neighbour long axis geometry reinforces axial bias in skin spreading around the mouse embryo body.