Cell shape changes mainly rely on the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Multiciliated cells (MCCs) of the mucociliary epidermis of Xenopus laevis embryos, as they mature, dramatically reshape their apical domain to grow cilia, in coordination with the underlying actin cytoskeleton. Crumbs (Crb) proteins are multifaceted transmembrane apical polarity proteins known to recruit actin linkers and promote apical membrane growth. Here, we identify the homeolog Crb3.L as an important player for the migration of centrioles or basal bodies (collectively centrioles/BBs) and apical domain morphogenesis in MCCs. Crb3.L is present in cytoplasmic vesicles close to the ascending centrioles/BBs, where it partially colocalizes with Rab11a. Crb3.L morpholino-mediated depletion in MCCs caused abnormal migration of centrioles/BBs, a reduction of their apical surface, disorganization of their apical actin meshwork and defective ciliogenesis. Rab11a morpholino-mediated depletion phenocopied Crb3.L loss-of-function in MCCs. Thus, the control of centrioles/BBs migration by Crb3.L might be mediated by Rab11a-dependent apical trafficking. Furthermore, we show that both phospho-activated ERM (pERM; Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin) and Crb3.L are recruited to the growing apical domain of MCCs, where Crb3.L likely anchors pERM, allowing actin-dependent expansion of the apical membrane.

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