Cortical contraction drives the 3D patterning of epithelial cell surfaces

Aaron P. van Loon, Ivan Erofeev, Ivan Maryshev, Andrew Goryachev, Alvaro Sagasti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Cellular protrusions create complex cell surface topographies, but biomechanical mechanisms regulating their formation and arrangement are largely unknown. To study how protrusions form, we focused on the morphogenesis of microridges, elongated actin-based structures projecting from the apical surfaces of zebrafish skin cells that are arranged inmaze-like patterns. Microridges form by accreting simple finger-like precursors. Live imaging demonstrated that microridge morphogenesis is linked to apical constriction. A non-musclemyosin II (NMII) reporter revealed pulsatile contractions of the actomyosin cortex, and inhibiting NMII blocked apical constriction and microridge formation. A biomechanical model suggested that contraction reduces surface tension to permit the fusion of precursors into microridges. Indeed, reducing surface tension with hyperosmolar media promoted microridge formation. In anisotropically stretched cells, microridges formed by precursorfusion along the stretch axis, which computational modeling explained as a consequence of stretch-induced cortical flow. Collectively, our results demonstrate how contraction within the 2D plane of the cortex can pattern 3D cell surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere201904144
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2020


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