Drosophila embryos close epithelial wounds using a combination of cellular protrusions and an actomyosin purse string
ABSTRACT The repair of injured tissue must occur rapidly to prevent microbial invasion and maintain tissue integrity. Epithelial tissues in particular, which serve as a barrier against the external environment, must repair efficiently in order to restore their primary function. Here we analyze the effect of different parameters on the epithelial wound repair process in the late stage Drosophila embryo using in vivo wound assays, expression of cytoskeleton and membrane markers, and mutant analysis. We define four distinct phases in the repair process-expansion, coalescence, contraction, and closure-and describe the molecular dynamics of each phase. Specifically, we find that myosin, E-cadherin, Echinoid, the plasma membrane, microtubules, and the Cdc42 small GTPase respond dynamically during wound repair, and demonstrate that perturbations of each of these components result in specific impairments to the wound healing process. Our results show that embryonic epithelial wound repair is mediated by two simultaneously acting mechanisms: crawling driven by cellular protrusions and actomyosin ring contraction along the leading edge of the wound.
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ABSTRACT: Actin microridges form labyrinth like patterns on superficial epithelial cells across animal species. This highly organized assembly has been implicated in mucus retention and in the mechanical structure of mucosal surfaces, however the mechanisms that regulate actin microridges remain largely unknown. Here we characterize the composition and dynamics of actin microridges on the surface of zebrafish larvae using live imaging. Microridges contain phospho-tyrosine, cortactin and VASP, but not focal adhesion kinase. Time-lapse imaging reveals dynamic changes in the length and branching of microridges in intact animals. Transient perturbation of the microridge pattern occurs before cell division with rapid re-assembly during and after cytokinesis. Microridge assembly is maintained with constitutive activation of Rho or inhibition of myosin II activity. However, expression of dominant negative RhoA or Rac alters microridge organization, with an increase in distance between microridges. Latrunculin A treatment and photoconversion experiments suggest that the F-actin filaments are actively treadmilling in microridges. Accordingly, inhibition of Arp2/3 or PI3K signaling impairs microridge structure and length. Taken together, actin microridges in zebrafish represent a tractable in vivo model to probe pattern formation and dissect Arp2/3-mediated actin dynamics in vivo.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0115639. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115639 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Unidirectional zippering is a key step in neural tube closure that remains poorly understood. Here, we combine experimental and computational approaches to identify the mechanism for zippering in a basal chordate, Ciona intestinalis. We show that myosin II is activated sequentially from posterior to anterior along the neural/epidermal (Ne/Epi) boundary just ahead of the advancing zipper. This promotes rapid shortening of Ne/Epi junctions, driving the zipper forward and drawing the neural folds together. Cell contact rearrangements (Ne/Epi + Ne/Epi → Ne/Ne + Epi/Epi) just behind the zipper lower tissue resistance to zipper progression by allowing transiently stretched cells to detach and relax toward isodiametric shapes. Computer simulations show that measured differences in junction tension, timing of primary contractions, and delay before cell detachment are sufficient to explain the speed and direction of zipper progression and highlight key advantages of a sequential contraction mechanism for robust efficient zippering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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ABSTRACT: The shape of a single animal cell is determined both by its internal cytoskeleton and through physical interactions with its environment. In a tissue context, this extracellular environment is made up largely of other cells and the extracellular matrix. As a result, the shape of cells residing within an epithelium will be determined both by forces actively generated within the cells themselves and by their deformation in response to forces generated elsewhere in the tissue as they propagate through cell-cell junctions. Together these complex patterns of forces combine to drive epithelial tissue morphogenesis during both development and homeostasis. Here we review the role of both active and passive cell shape changes and mechanical feedback control in tissue morphogenesis in different systems.Developmental Biology 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.12.030 · 3.64 Impact Factor