Par3 is essential for the establishment of planar cell polarity of inner ear hair cells

Andre Landin Malt, Zachary Dailey, Julia Holbrook-Rasmussen, Yuqiong Zheng, Arielle Hogan, Quansheng Du, Xiaowei Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In the inner ear sensory epithelia, stereociliary hair bundles atop sensory hair cells are mechanosensory apparatus with planar polarized structure and orientation. This is established during development by the concerted action of tissue-level, intercellular planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling and a hair cell-intrinsic, microtubule-mediated machinery. However, how various polarity signals are integrated during hair bundle morphogenesis is poorly understood. Here, we show that the conserved cell polarity protein Par3 is essential for planar polarization of hair cells. Par3 deletion in the inner ear disrupted cochlear outgrowth, hair bundle orientation, kinocilium positioning, and basal body planar polarity, accompanied by defects in the organization and cortical attachment of hair cell microtubules. Genetic mosaic analysis revealed that Par3 functions both cell-autonomously and cellnonautonomously to regulate kinocilium positioning and hair bundle orientation. At the tissue level, intercellular PCP signaling regulates the asymmetric localization of Par3, which in turn maintains the asymmetric localization of the core PCP protein Vangl2. Mechanistically, Par3 interacts with and regulates the localization of Tiam1 and Trio, which are guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for Rac, thereby stimulating Rac-Pak signaling. Finally, constitutively active Rac1 rescued the PCP defects in Par3-deficient cochleae. Thus, a Par3-GEF-Rac axis mediates both tissue-level and hair cell-intrinsic PCP signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4999-5008
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2019


  • Hair cell
  • Microtubule
  • Par3
  • Planar cell polarity
  • Stereocilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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