Convergent extension requires adhesion-dependent biomechanical integration of cell crawling and junction contraction [article]

Shinuo Weng, Robert Huebner, John B. Wallingford
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Convergent extension is an evolutionarily conserved collective cell movement that elongates the body axis of all animals and is required for the morphogenesis of several organ systems. Decades of study have revealed two distinct mechanisms of cell movement during CE, one based on cell crawling and the other on junction contraction. How these two behaviors collaborate during CE is unknown. Here, using quantitative live cell imaging we show that these two modes act both independently and in
more » ... t during CE, but that cell movement is more effective when the two modes are simultaneously integrated. Based on these findings, we developed a novel computational model that for the first time treats crawling and contraction independently. This model not only confirmed the biomechanical efficacy of integrating the two modes but also revealed for the first time how the two modes are affected by cell adhesion. Prompted by our modeling, we show that disruption of cell adhesion by knockdown of the Arvcf catenin results in specific failure of integration of crawling with contraction. These data are significant for providing new biomechanical and cell biological insights into a fundamental morphogenetic process implicated in human neural tube defects and skeletal dysplasias.
doi:10.1101/2021.01.12.426405 fatcat:uuuuv7zbszbxpm36lany4iik6y