Research Article

Apical stress fibers enable a scaling between cell mechanical response and area in epithelial tissue

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Science  16 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6514, eabb2169
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb2169

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Fiber tension enables tissue scaling

Tissue development, homeostasis, and repair require cells to sense mechanical forces. Although many molecular actors implicated in cell mechanosensitivity have been extensively studied, the basis by which cells adapt their mechanical responses to their geometry remains poorly defined. López-Gay et al. now identify how two fundamental epithelial structures—stress fibers and tricellular junctions—endow Drosophila cells with an internal ruler to scale their mechanical response with their area. This work explains how cells of different sizes within an epithelial tissue collectively adapt their mechanical response to control tissue shape and proliferation. Scaling of biological properties with size is a core property of other biological systems.

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