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Mechanical Control of Morphogenesis by Fat/Dachsous/Four-Jointed Planar Cell Polarity Pathway.

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Science  12 Apr 2012:
1221071
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221071

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Abstract

During animal development, several planar cell polarity (PCP) pathways control tissue shape by coordinating collective cell behavior. Here, we characterize epithelium morphogenesis in the Drosophila dorsal thorax by multiscale imaging and show how the Fat/Dachsous/Four-jointed PCP pathway controls morphogenesis. We find that the proto-cadherin Dachsous is polarized within a domain of its tissue-wide expression gradient. Furthermore, Dachsous polarizes the myosin Dachs, which in turn promotes anisotropy of junction tension. By combining physical modeling with quantitative image analyses, we determine that this tension anisotropy defines the pattern of local tissue contraction that contributes to shaping the epithelium mainly via oriented cell rearrangements. Our results establish how tissue planar polarization coordinates the local changes of cell mechanical properties to control tissue morphogenesis.

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