From cell shape to cell fate via the cytoskeleton — Insights from the epidermis

Chen Luxenburg, Ronen Zaidel-Bar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Animal cells exhibit a wide range of shapes that reflect their diverse functions. Cell shape is determined by a balance between internal and external forces and therefore involves the cytoskeleton and its associated adhesion structures. Cell shape dynamics during development and homeostasis are tightly regulated and closely coordinated with cell fate determination. Defects in cell shape are a hallmark of many pathological conditions including cancer and skin diseases. This review highlights the links between cell shape and cell fate in the epidermis, which have been studied for over 40 years both in vitro and in vivo. Briefly discussing seminal experiments showing the strong coupling between keratinocyte cell shape and their fate we primarily focus on recent studies uncovering novel cellular and molecular mechanisms linking epidermal cell shape with cell growth, differentiation, asymmetric division, and delamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 May 2019


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