Segmentation and tracking of cells in long-term time-lapse experiments has emerged as a powerful method to understand how tissue shape changes emerge from the complex choreography of constituent cells. However, methods to store and interrogate the large datasets produced by these experiments are not widely available. Furthermore, recently developed methods for relating tissue shape changes to cell dynamics have not yet been widely applied by biologists because of their technical complexity. We therefore developed a database format that stores cellular connectivity and geometry information of deforming epithelial tissues, and computational tools to interrogate it and perform multi-scale analysis of morphogenesis. We provide tutorials for this computational framework, called TissueMiner, and demonstrate its capabilities by comparing cell and tissue dynamics in vein and inter-vein subregions of the Drosophila pupal wing. These analyses reveal an unexpected role for convergent extension in shaping wing veins.
- W James Nelson, Stanford University, United States
© 2016, Etournay et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Epidermal keratinocytes mediate touch sensation by detecting and encoding tactile information to sensory neurons. However, the specific mechanotransducers that enable keratinocytes to respond to mechanical stimulation are unknown. Here, we found that the mechanically-gated ion channel PIEZO1 is a key keratinocyte mechanotransducer. Keratinocyte expression of PIEZO1 is critical for normal sensory afferent firing and behavioral responses to mechanical stimuli in mice.
Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) dysfunction due to mutations in the nuclear or mitochondrial genome is a common cause of metabolic disease in humans and displays striking tissue specificity depending on the affected gene. The mechanisms underlying tissue specific phenotypes are not understood. Complex I (cI) is classically considered the entry point for electrons into the ETC, and in vitro experiments indicate that cI is required for basal respiration and maintenance of the NAD+/NADH ratio, an indicator of cellular redox status. This finding has largely not been tested in vivo. Here, we report that mitochondrial complex I is dispensable for homeostasis of the adult mouse liver; animals with hepatocyte-specific loss of cI function display no overt phenotypes or signs of liver damage, and maintain liver function, redox and oxygen status. Further analysis of cI-deficient livers did not reveal significant proteomic or metabolic changes, indicating little to no compensation is required in the setting of complex I loss. In contrast, complex IV (cIV) dysfunction in adult hepatocytes results in decreased liver function, impaired oxygen handling, steatosis, and liver damage, accompanied by significant metabolomic and proteomic perturbations. Our results support a model whereby complex I loss is tolerated in the mouse liver because hepatocytes use alternative electron donors to fuel the mitochondrial ETC.