Tissue fluidity mediated by adherens junction dynamics promotes planar cell polarity-driven ommatidial rotation

Nabila Founounou, Reza Farhadifar, Giovanna M. Collu, Ursula Weber, Michael J. Shelley, Marek Mlodzik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The phenomenon of tissue fluidity—cells’ ability to rearrange relative to each other in confluent tissues—has been linked to several morphogenetic processes and diseases, yet few molecular regulators of tissue fluidity are known. Ommatidial rotation (OR), directed by planar cell polarity signaling, occurs during Drosophila eye morphogenesis and shares many features with polarized cellular migration in vertebrates. We utilize in vivo live imaging analysis tools to quantify dynamic cellular morphologies during OR, revealing that OR is driven autonomously by ommatidial cell clusters rotating in successive pulses within a permissive substrate. Through analysis of a rotation-specific nemo mutant, we demonstrate that precise regulation of junctional E-cadherin levels is critical for modulating the mechanical properties of the tissue to allow rotation to progress. Our study defines Nemo as a molecular tool to induce a transition from solid-like tissues to more viscoelastic tissues broadening our molecular understanding of tissue fluidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6974
JournalNature communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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