Cell cycle and developmental control of cortical excitability in Xenopus laevis

Zachary T. Swider, Ani Michaud, Marcin Leda, Jennifer Landino, Andrew B. Goryachev, William M Bement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interest in cortical excitability – the ability of the cell cortex to generate traveling waves of protein activity – has grown considerably over the past twenty years. Attributing biological functions to cortical excitability requires an understanding of the natural behavior of excitable waves and the ability to accurately quantify wave properties. Here we have investigated and quantified the onset of cortical excitability in X. laevis eggs and embryos, and the changes in cortical excitability throughout early development. We found that cortical excitability begins to manifest shortly after egg activation. Further, we identified a close relationship between wave properties – such as wave frequency and amplitude – and cell cycle progression as well as cell size. Finally, we identified quantitative differences between cortical excitability in the cleavage furrow relative to non-furrow cortical excitability and showed that these wave regimes are mutually exclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number8
Early online date21 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


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