Triggering a cell shape change by exploiting preexisting actomyosin contractions.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Apical constriction changes cell shapes, driving critical morphogenetic events, including gastrulation in diverse organisms and neural tube closure in vertebrates. Apical constriction is thought to be triggered by contraction of apical actomyosin networks. We found that apical actomyosin contractions began before cell shape changes in both Caenorhabitis elegans and Drosophila. In C. elegans, actomyosin networks were initially dynamic, contracting and generating cortical tension without substantial shrinking of apical surfaces. Apical cell-cell contact zones and actomyosin only later moved increasingly in concert, with no detectable change in actomyosin dynamics or cortical tension. Thus, apical constriction appears to be triggered not by a change in cortical tension, but by dynamic linking of apical cell-cell contact zones to an already contractile apical cortex.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Roh-Johnson, M; Shemer, G; Higgins, CD; McClellan, JH; Werts, AD; Tulu, US; Gao, L; Betzig, E; Kiehart, DP; Goldstein, B

Published Date

  • March 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 335 / 6073

Start / End Page

  • 1232 - 1235

PubMed ID

  • 22323741

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3298882

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1217869


  • eng