Table of Contents
Advances in Nephrology
Volume 2015, Article ID 764682, 15 pages
Review Article

Planar Cell Polarity Pathway in Kidney Development and Function

Department of Medicine and Physiology, McGill University and McGill University Health Center, 3775 University Street, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4

Received 17 September 2014; Revised 25 January 2015; Accepted 8 February 2015

Academic Editor: Carlos G. Musso

Copyright © 2015 Brittany Rocque and Elena Torban. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The evolutionarily conserved planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway controls tissue polarity within the plane orthogonal to the apical-basal axis. PCP was originally discovered in Drosophila melanogaster where it is required for the establishment of a uniform pattern of cell structures and appendages. In vertebrates, including mammals, the PCP pathway has been adapted to control various morphogenetic processes that are critical for tissue and organ development. These include convergent extension (crucial for neural tube closure and cochlear duct development) and oriented cell division (needed for tubular elongation), ciliary tilting that enables directional fluid flow, and other processes. Recently, strong evidence has emerged to implicate the PCP pathway in vertebrate kidney development. In this review, we will describe the experimental data revealing the role of PCP signaling in nephrogenesis and kidney disease.