Intracellular organization in cell polarity – placing organelles into the polarity loop
Many studies have investigated the processes that support polarity establishment and maintenance in cells. On the one hand, polarity complexes at the cell cortex and their downstream signaling pathways have been assigned as major regulators of polarity. On the other hand, intracellular organelles and their polarized trafficking routes have emerged as important components of polarity. In this Review, we argue that rather than trying to identify the prime ‘culprit’, now it is time to consider all these players as a collective. We highlight that understanding the intimate coordination between the polarized cell cortex and the intracellular compass that is defined by organelle positioning is essential to capture the concept of polarity. After briefly reviewing how polarity emerges from a dynamic maintenance of cellular asymmetries, we highlight how intracellular organelles and their associated trafficking routes provide diverse feedback for dynamic cell polarity maintenance. We argue that the asymmetric organelle compass is an indispensable element of the polarity network.