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Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Oct;17(10):1247-58. doi: 10.1038/ncb3226. Epub 2015 Sep 21.

Local and tissue-scale forces drive oriented junction growth during tissue extension.

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Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IBDM UMR7288 13009 Marseille, France.
EMBL Heidelberg, Meyerhofstrasse 1 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Convergence-extension is a widespread morphogenetic process driven by polarized cell intercalation. In the Drosophila germ band, epithelial intercalation comprises loss of junctions between anterior-posterior neighbours followed by growth of new junctions between dorsal-ventral neighbours. Much is known about how active stresses drive polarized junction shrinkage. However, it is unclear how tissue convergence-extension emerges from local junction remodelling and what the specific role, if any, of junction growth is. Here we report that tissue convergence and extension correlate mostly with new junction growth. Simulations and in vivo mechanical perturbations reveal that junction growth is due to local polarized stresses driven by medial actomyosin contractions. Moreover, we find that tissue-scale pulling forces at the boundary with the invaginating posterior midgut actively participate in tissue extension by orienting junction growth. Thus, tissue extension is akin to a polarized fluid flow that requires parallel and concerted local and tissue-scale forces to drive junction growth and cell-cell displacement.

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