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TIMORPH Report Summary

Project ID: 340784
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

Mid-Term Report Summary - TIMORPH (Morphogenesis of proliferative epithelial tissue)

Shape is a conspicuous and fundamental property of living multicellular organisms. Questions related to embryo shape or morphogenesis have naturally haunted developmental biologists for decades. Recent advances have highlighted that the understanding of the morphogenesis of proliferative tissue will require (i) the dissection of how subcellular cytoskeleton dynamics controls cellular processes such as cell division orientation and adherens junction formation; (ii) the study of the interplay between biochemical and mechanical processes regulating collective cell behaviours and thus tissue movements. In addition, whole tissue imaging has revealed that distinct local cell dynamics account for tissue shape regulation. Yet, it remains poorly explored how gene expression patterns specify distinct local cell dynamics within a proliferative epithelium. To decipher the mechanisms of Drosophila epithelial tissue morphogenesis, we have been exploring the mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis at different time-scales and length-scales, as well as by focusing both on its genetic and mechanical regulation. In particular during this first grant period, we have
1. Dissected the molecular and mechanical mechanisms regulating mitotic spindle orientation and de novo adherens junction formation during cell division (Boveld et al Nature 2016; Pinheiro et al., in revision).
2. Linked cytoskeleton organization, cell dynamics and mechanics to the regulation of large-scale tissue deformation (Bosveld et al., Development 2016 and Guirao et al. elife 2015).

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