The vertebrate embryo undergoes a series of dramatic morphological changes as the body extends to form the complete anterior-posterior axis during the somite-forming stages. The molecular mechanisms regulating these complex processes are still largely unknown. We show that the Hippo pathway transcriptional coactivators Yap1 and Wwtr1 are specifically localized to the presumptive epidermis and notochord, and play a critical and unexpected role in posterior body extension by regulating Fibronectin assembly underneath the presumptive epidermis and surrounding the notochord. We further find that Yap1 and Wwtr1, also via Fibronectin, have an essential role in the epidermal morphogenesis necessary to form the initial dorsal and ventral fins, a process previously thought to involve bending of an epithelial sheet, but which we now show involves concerted active cell movement. Our results reveal how the Hippo pathway transcriptional program, localized to two specific tissues, acts to control essential morphological events in the vertebrate embryo.
zebrafish yap1/wwtr1 mutantsGSEXXX.
- David Kimelman
- Jason Kuan Han Lai
- Didier YR Stainier
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with institutional (UW and MPG) and national ethical and animal welfare guidelines. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care protocols (Permission No. B2/1068 for DS and IACUC protocol 2387-02 for DK).
- Marianne Bronner, California Institute of Technology, United States
© 2017, Kimelman 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.
In order to understand morphogenesis, it is necessary to know the material properties or forces shaping the living tissue. In spite of this need, very few in vivo measurements are currently available. Here, using the early Drosophila embryo as a model, we describe a novel cantilever-based technique which allows for the simultaneous quantification of applied force and tissue displacement in a living embryo. By analyzing data from a series of experiments in which embryonic epithelium is subjected to developmentally relevant perturbations, we conclude that the response to applied force is adiabatic and is dominated by elastic forces and geometric constraints, or system size effects. Crucially, computational modeling of the experimental data indicated that the apical surface of the epithelium must be softer than the basal surface, a result which we confirmed experimentally. Further, we used the combination of experimental data and comprehensive computational model to estimate the elastic modulus of the apical surface and set a lower bound on the elastic modulus of the basal surface. More generally, our investigations revealed important general features that we believe should be more widely addressed when quantitatively modeling tissue mechanics in any system. Specifically, different compartments of the same cell can have very different mechanical properties; when they do, they can contribute differently to different mechanical stimuli and cannot be merely averaged together. Additionally, tissue geometry can play a substantial role in mechanical response, and cannot be neglected.
The study of color patterns in the animal integument is a fundamental question in biology, with many lepidopteran species being exemplary models in this endeavor due to their relative simplicity and elegance. While significant advances have been made in unraveling the cellular and molecular basis of lepidopteran pigmentary coloration, the morphogenesis of wing scale nanostructures involved in structural color production is not well understood. Contemporary research on this topic largely focuses on a few nymphalid model taxa (e.g., Bicyclus, Heliconius), despite an overwhelming diversity in the hierarchical nanostructural organization of lepidopteran wing scales. Here, we present a time-resolved, comparative developmental study of hierarchical scale nanostructures in Parides eurimedes and five other papilionid species. Our results uphold the putative conserved role of F-actin bundles in acting as spacers between developing ridges, as previously documented in several nymphalid species. Interestingly, while ridges are developing in P. eurimedes, plasma membrane manifests irregular mesh-like crossribs characteristic of Papilionidae, which delineate the accretion of cuticle into rows of planar disks in between ridges. Once the ridges have grown, disintegrating F-actin bundles appear to reorganize into a network that supports the invagination of plasma membrane underlying the disks, subsequently forming an extruded honeycomb lattice. Our results uncover a previously undocumented role for F-actin in the morphogenesis of complex wing scale nanostructures, likely specific to Papilionidae.