A contractile actomyosin network linked to adherens junctions by Canoe/afadin helps drive convergent extension.
Integrating individual cell movements to create tissue-level shape change is essential to building an animal. We explored mechanisms of adherens junction (AJ):cytoskeleton linkage and roles of the linkage regulator Canoe/afadin during Drosophila germband extension (GBE), a convergent-extension process elongating the body axis. We found surprising parallels between GBE and a quite different morphogenetic movement, mesoderm apical constriction. Germband cells have an apical actomyosin network undergoing cyclical contractions. These coincide with a novel cell shape change--cell extension along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. In Canoe's absence, GBE is disrupted. The apical actomyosin network detaches from AJs at AP cell borders, reducing coordination of actomyosin contractility and cell shape change. Normal GBE requires planar polarization of AJs and the cytoskeleton. Canoe loss subtly enhances AJ planar polarity and dramatically increases planar polarity of the apical polarity proteins Bazooka/Par3 and atypical protein kinase C. Changes in Bazooka localization parallel retraction of the actomyosin network. Globally reducing AJ function does not mimic Canoe loss, but many effects are replicated by global actin disruption. Strong dose-sensitive genetic interactions between canoe and bazooka are consistent with them affecting a common process. We propose a model in which an actomyosin network linked at AP AJs by Canoe and coupled to apical polarity proteins regulates convergent extension.
Sawyer, JK; Choi, W; Jung, K-C; He, L; Harris, NJ; Peifer, M
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