1. Center for Translational Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xian Jiaotong University, College of Medicine, Xi'an, China;
2. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xian Jiaotong University, College of Medicine, Xi'an, China
Cell polarity is one of the most basic properties of all normal cells and is essential for regulating numerous biological processes. Loss of polarity is considered a hallmark for cancer. Multiple polarity proteins are implicated in maintenance of cell polarity. Lethal (2) giant larvae (Lgl) is one of polarity proteins that plays an important role in regulating cell polarity, asymmetric division as well as tumorigenesis. Lgl proteins in different species have similar structures and conserved functions. Lgl acts as an indispensable regulator of cell biological function, including cell polarity and asymmetric division, through interplaying with other polarity proteins, regulating exocytosis, mediating cytoskeleton and being involved in signaling pathways. Furthermore, Lgl plays a role of a tumor suppressor, and the aberrant expression of Hugl, a human homologue of Lgl, contributes to multiple cancers. However, the exact functions of Lgl and the underlying mechanisms remain enigmatic. In this review, we will give an overview of the Lgl functions in cell polarity and cancer development, discuss the potential mechanisms underlying these functions, and raise our conclusion of previous studies and points of view about the future studies.
Keywords: lethal (2) giant larvae, cell polarity, asymmetric division, tumor suppression