TitleIntegration of contractile forces during tissue invagination.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMartin, AC, Gelbart, M, Fernandez-Gonzalez, R, Kaschube, M, Wieschaus, EF
JournalJ Cell Biol
Date Published2010 Mar 8
KeywordsActomyosin, Adherens Junctions, Animals, Animals, Genetically Modified, Anisotropy, Biological Markers, Cell Adhesion, Cell Membrane, Cell Shape, Cytoskeleton, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila Proteins, Epithelium, Morphogenesis, Myosin Type II, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, RNA Interference, Stress, Mechanical, Transcription Factors, Twist Transcription Factor

Contractile forces generated by the actomyosin cytoskeleton within individual cells collectively generate tissue-level force during epithelial morphogenesis. During Drosophila mesoderm invagination, pulsed actomyosin meshwork contractions and a ratchet-like stabilization of cell shape drive apical constriction. Here, we investigate how contractile forces are integrated across the tissue. Reducing adherens junction (AJ) levels or ablating actomyosin meshworks causes tissue-wide epithelial tears, which release tension that is predominantly oriented along the anterior-posterior (a-p) embryonic axis. Epithelial tears allow cells normally elongated along the a-p axis to constrict isotropically, which suggests that apical constriction generates anisotropic epithelial tension that feeds back to control cell shape. Epithelial tension requires the transcription factor Twist, which stabilizes apical myosin II, promoting the formation of a supracellular actomyosin meshwork in which radial actomyosin fibers are joined end-to-end at spot AJs. Thus, pulsed actomyosin contractions require a supracellular, tensile meshwork to transmit cellular forces to the tissue level during morphogenesis.

Alternate JournalJ. Cell Biol.