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Uncovering a novel mechanism of force transmission during epithelial cell division

The Polarity, Division and Morphogenesis team (Institut Curie/CNRS/INSERM/PSL*) publishes a Nature paper on epithelial cell division . Their work establishes that the forces generated during each cell division are sensed by the cells neighbouring the dividing cell by an E-Cadherin dilution and actomyosin flows. This sensing mechanism contributes for the maintenance of adhesion and polarity during division. Thus, their findings improve our understanding of how epithelia preserve their barrier function while proliferating.

Caption: 3D reconstruction of a dividing cell (red) pulling on its neighbor (green) during epithelial cytokinesis.
3D reconstruction of a dividing cell (red) pulling on its neighbor (green) during epithelial cytokinesis.

« During epithelial cytokinesis, the remodelling of adhesive cell-cell contacts between the dividing cell and its neighbours has profound roles in the integrity, the arrangement and morphogenesis of proliferative tissues1-8. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, this remodelling requires the activity of non-muscle Myosin II (MyoII) in the interphasic cells neighbouring the dividing cells1,3,6. However, the mechanisms coordinating cytokinesis and MyoII activity in the neighbours are unknown. Here, we found that, in the Drosophila notum epithelium, each cell division is associated with a mechano-sensing and transmission event controlling MyoII dynamics in the neighbours. We established that the ring pulling forces promote local junction elongation, resulting in a decrease of E-Cadherin (E-Cad) concentration at the ingressing adherens junction (AJ). In turn, the local reduction of E-Cad concentration and the contractility of the neighbouring cells promote self-organized actomyosin flows, ultimately leading to MyoII accumulation at the base of the ingressing AJ. While force transduction has been extensively studied in the context of AJ reinforcement to stabilize the adhesive cell-cell contacts9, we propose an alternative mechano-sensing mechanism able to coordinate actomyosin dynamics between epithelial cells and to sustain AJ remodelling in response to mechanical forces. »

Transmission of cytokinesis forces via E-Cadherin dilution and actomyosin flows
Diana Pinheiro, Edouard Hannezo, Sophie Herszterg, Floris Bosveled, Isabelle Gaugue, Maria Balakireva, Zhimin Wang, Inês Cristo, Stéphane Rigaud, Olga Markova and Yohanns Bellaïche
Nature – DOI: 10.1038/nature22041
Full text link : http://rdcu.be/p6TF