LMCB - MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology


Uncovering a role for Myosin II in maintenance of tissue integrity

New publication for the Mao Lab in Developmental Cell uncovers a role for Myosin II in preserving the shape of tissues under mechanical stress.
Abstract from the article:
As tissues develop, they are subjected to a variety of mechanical forces. Some of these forces are instrumental in the development of tissues, while others can result in tissue damage. Despite our extensive understanding of force-guided morphogenesis, we have only a limited understanding of how tissues prevent further morphogenesis once the shape is determined after development. Here, through the development of a tissue-stretching device, we uncover a mechanosensitive pathway that regulates tissue responses to mechanical stress through the polarization of actomyosin across the tissue. We show that stretch induces the formation of linear multicellular actomyosin cables, which depend on Diaphanous for their nucleation. These stiffen the epithelium, limiting further changes in shape, and prevent fractures from propagating across the tissue. Overall, this mechanism of force-induced changes in tissue mechanical properties provides a general model of force buffering that serves to preserve the shape of tissues under conditions of mechanical stress.
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