Morphogenesis and mechanics of epithelial tissues
- Tissue mechanics
- Bridging scales from cell to the embryo to understand morphogenesis during development
- Live imaging, quantitative biology, mechanical and genetic manipulation
From cell mechanics to embryo morphogenesis
We are focused in understanding how cellular and sub-cellular properties are integrated at the embryo scale to give rise to emerging mechanisms necessary to drive coordinated tissue flows and tissue remodeling during development. The projects developed in the lab gather people from different backgrounds (biology, informatics, physics, and engineering) to generate an interdisciplinary and synergistic group in an international environment.
Developmental biology is a field of great interest since it allows studying cells in a physiological relevant context. That is why scientists have been considering the embryo as an interesting “environment” in which to analyze and learn more about the biology and physics of cells. While much work has been done in dissecting cellular and subcellular properties, little is known of how nano and micro scale mechanisms are integrated at the embryo and how emerging properties arise to drive coordinated tissue flows and tissue remodeling responsable for morphogenesis and impacting on cell fate determination. The research we do aims to bridge scales from the subcellular to the embryo. This represents the ultimate understanding of how an embryo changes its shape during development.
The research we do in the lab aims to push further both the understanding of embryo development and the technology necessary to tackle such understanding. We use and develop cutting edge imaging techniques, laser manipulation, magnetic tweezers, optogenetic-based synthetic morphology, and image analysis with systematic BIG data processing. The study is done comparatively on wild type and mutated embryos. in silico modelling is implemented to delineate a formal physical framework that can theoretically reproduce morphogenetic processes and predict features of the system that are then back tested experimentally.
Tissue fold formation is a common morphological process taking place during morphogenesis. Such a process plays a key role in embryo development since it allows translocating cells in inner zones of the embryo where specific organs of the mature animal will then originate (process named gastrulation).
A model system that is particularly suited for studying folding is for example the Drosophila embryo for which many genetic tools are available and several manipulation tools can be applied to probe cell mechanics. In the early Drosophila embryo it has been shown that a tissue can fold via different mechanisms.
How can a tissue, during fold formation, change its curvature from convex to concave?
How are forces distributed in time at the surface and in the bulk of the embryo to drive morphogenesis?
Finally, how do tissue mechanics and morphogenesis impact on EMT, cell migration and cell fate determination?
- Rauzi, M, Krzic, U, Saunders, TE, Krajnc, M, Ziherl, P, Hufnagel, L et al.. Embryo-scale tissue mechanics during Drosophila gastrulation movements. Nat Commun. 2015;6 :8677. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9677. PubMed PMID:26497898 PubMed Central PMC4846315.
- Collinet, C, Rauzi, M, Lenne, PF, Lecuit, T. Local and tissue-scale forces drive oriented junction growth during tissue extension. Nat. Cell Biol. 2015;17 (10):1247-58. doi: 10.1038/ncb3226. PubMed PMID:26389664 .
- Bajoghli, B, Kuri, P, Inoue, D, Aghaallaei, N, Hanelt, M, Thumberger, T et al.. Noninvasive In Toto Imaging of the Thymus Reveals Heterogeneous Migratory Behavior of Developing T Cells. J. Immunol. 2015;195 (5):2177-86. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1500361. PubMed PMID:26188059 .
- Rauzi, M, Hočevar Brezavšček, A, Ziherl, P, Leptin, M. Physical models of mesoderm invagination in Drosophila embryo. Biophys. J. 2013;105 (1):3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.05.039. PubMed PMID:23823218 PubMed Central PMC3699736.
- Hočevar Brezavšček, A, Rauzi, M, Leptin, M, Ziherl, P. A model of epithelial invagination driven by collective mechanics of identical cells. Biophys. J. 2012;103 (5):1069-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.07.018. PubMed PMID:23009857 PubMed Central PMC3433605.
- Rauzi, M, Lenne, PF. Cortical forces in cell shape changes and tissue morphogenesis. Curr. Top. Dev. Biol. 2011;95 :93-144. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385065-2.00004-9. PubMed PMID:21501750 .
- Rauzi, M, Lenne, PF, Lecuit, T. Planar polarized actomyosin contractile flows control epithelial junction remodelling. Nature. 2010;468 (7327):1110-4. doi: 10.1038/nature09566. PubMed PMID:21068726 .
- Bertet, C, Rauzi, M, Lecuit, T. Repression of Wasp by JAK/STAT signalling inhibits medial actomyosin network assembly and apical cell constriction in intercalating epithelial cells. Development. 2009;136 (24):4199-212. doi: 10.1242/dev.040402. PubMed PMID:19934015 .
- Rauzi, M, Lecuit, T. Closing in on mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis. Cell. 2009;137 (7):1183-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.06.009. PubMed PMID:19563750 .
- Rauzi, M, Verant, P, Lecuit, T, Lenne, PF. Nature and anisotropy of cortical forces orienting Drosophila tissue morphogenesis. Nat. Cell Biol. 2008;10 (12):1401-10. doi: 10.1038/ncb1798. PubMed PMID:18978783 .
- Cavey, M, Rauzi, M, Lenne, PF, Lecuit, T. A two-tiered mechanism for stabilization and immobilization of E-cadherin. Nature. 2008;453 (7196):751-6. doi: 10.1038/nature06953. PubMed PMID:18480755 .
iBV - Institut de Biologie Valrose
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
Faculté des Sciences
06108 Nice cedex 2