JOURNAL ARTICLE

Mechanical impact of epithelial-mesenchymal transition on epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila

Mélanie Gracia, Sophie Theis, Amsha Proag, Guillaume Gay, Corinne Benassayag, Magali Suzanne
Nature Communications 2019 July 4, 10 (1): 2951
31273212
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an essential process both in physiological and pathological contexts. Intriguingly, EMT is often associated with tissue invagination during development; however, the impact of EMT on tissue remodeling remain unexplored. Here, we show that at the initiation of the EMT process, cells produce an apico-basal force, orthogonal to the surface of the epithelium, that constitutes an important driving force for tissue invagination in Drosophila. When EMT is ectopically induced, cells starting their delamination generate an orthogonal force and induce ectopic folding. Similarly, during mesoderm invagination, cells undergoing EMT generate an apico-basal force through the formation of apico-basal structures of myosin II. Using both laser microdissection and in silico physical modelling, we show that mesoderm invagination does not proceed if apico-basal forces are impaired, indicating that they constitute driving forces in the folding process. Altogether, these data reveal the mechanical impact of EMT on morphogenesis.

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