Combined effect of cell geometry and polarity domains determines the orientation of unequal division

  1. Benoit G Godard
  2. Remi Dumollard
  3. Carl-Philipp Heisenberg  Is a corresponding author
  4. Alex McDougall  Is a corresponding author
  1. Sorbonne Université, CNRS, France
  2. Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Austria

Abstract

Cell division orientation is thought to result from a competition between cell geometry and polarity domains controlling the position of the mitotic spindle during mitosis. Depending on the level of cell shape anisotropy or the strength of the polarity domain, one dominates the other and determines the orientation of the spindle. Whether and how such competition is also at work to determine unequal cell division (UCD), producing daughter cells of different size, remains unclear. Here, we show that cell geometry and polarity domains cooperate, rather than compete, in positioning the cleavage plane during UCDs in early ascidian embryos. We found that the UCDs and their orientation at the ascidian third cleavage rely on the spindle tilting in an anisotropic cell shape, and cortical polarity domains exerting different effects on spindle astral microtubules. By systematically varying mitotic cell shape, we could modulate the effect of attractive and repulsive polarity domains and consequently generate predicted daughter cell size asymmetries and position. We therefore propose that the spindle position during UCD is set by the combined activities of cell geometry and polarity domains, where cell geometry modulates the effect of cortical polarity domain(s).

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Article and author information

Author details

  1. Benoit G Godard

    Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement de Villefranche-sur-mer, Institut de la Mer de Villefranche-sur-mer, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Villefranche sur Mer, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Remi Dumollard

    Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement de Villefranche-sur-mer, Institut de la Mer de Villefranche-sur-mer, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Villefranche sur Mer, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8444-0630
  3. Carl-Philipp Heisenberg

    Life Sciences, Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria
    For correspondence
    heisenberg@ist.ac.at
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0912-4566
  4. Alex McDougall

    Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement de Villefranche-sur-mer, Institut de la Mer de Villefranche-sur-mer, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Villefranche sur Mer, France
    For correspondence
    alex.mc-dougall@imev-mer.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0324-3836

Funding

ANR (ANR-17-CE 13-0028))

  • Alex McDougall

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Danelle Devenport, Princeton University, United States

Version history

  1. Preprint posted: May 4, 2021 (view preprint)
  2. Received: November 17, 2021
  3. Accepted: December 2, 2021
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: December 10, 2021 (version 1)
  5. Version of Record published: December 21, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2021, Godard 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.

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  1. Benoit G Godard
  2. Remi Dumollard
  3. Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
  4. Alex McDougall
(2021)
Combined effect of cell geometry and polarity domains determines the orientation of unequal division
eLife 10:e75639.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.75639

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.75639

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