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Transcriptional induction and mechanical propagation of a morphogenetic wave

By Anais Bailles, Claudio Collinet, Jean-Marc Philippe, Pierre-Fran├žois Lenne, Edwin Munro, Thomas Lecuit

Posted 29 Sep 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/430512

Tissue morphogenesis emerges from coordinated cell shape changes driven by actomyosin contractions. Patterns of gene expression regionalize and polarize cell behaviours by controlling actomyosin contractility. Yet how mechanical feedbacks affect tissue morphogenesis is unclear. We report two modes of control over Rho1 and MyosinII activation in the Drosophila endoderm. First, Rho1/MyoII are induced in a primordium via localized transcription of the GPCR ligand Fog. Second, a tissue-scale wave of Rho1/MyoII activation and cell invagination progresses anteriorly. The wave does not require sustained gene transcription, and is not governed by regulated Fog delivery. Instead, MyoII inhibition blocked acute Rho1 activation and propagation, revealing a mechanical feedback driven by MyoII. Last, we identify a cycle of 3D cell deformations whereby MyoII activation and invagination in each row of cells drives adhesion to the vitelline membrane, apical spreading, MyoII activation and invagination in the next row. Thus endoderm morphogenesis emerges from local transcriptional initiation and a mechanically driven wave of cell deformation.

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