Journal Article

Role of cell polarity and planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins in spermatogenesis

Studies on cell polarity proteins and planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins date back to almost 40 years ago in Drosophila and C. elegans when these proteins were shown to be crucial to support apico-basal polarity and also directional alignment of polarity cells across the plane of an epithelium during morphogenesis. In adult mammals, cell polarity and PCP are most notable in cochlear hair cells. However, the role of these two groups of proteins to support spermatogenesis was not explored until a decade earlier when several proteins that confer cell polarity and PCP proteins were identified in the rat testis. Since then, there are several reports appearing in the literature to examine the role of both cell polarity and PCP in supporting spermatogenesis. Herein, we provide an overview regarding the role of cell polarity and PCP proteins in the testis, evaluating these findings in light of studies in other mammalian epithelial cells/tissues. Our goal is to provide a timely evaluation of these findings, and provide some thought provoking remarks to guide future studies based on an evolving concept in the field.