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Dev Biol 2013 Oct 15;3822:482-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.07.023.
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Directional migration of leading-edge mesoderm generates physical forces: Implication in Xenopus notochord formation during gastrulation.

Hara Y , Nagayama K , Yamamoto TS , Matsumoto T , Suzuki M , Ueno N .

Gastrulation is a dynamic tissue-remodeling process occurring during early development and fundamental to the later organogenesis. It involves both chemical signals and physical factors. Although much is known about the molecular pathways involved, the roles of physical forces in regulating cellular behavior and tissue remodeling during gastrulation have just begun to be explored. Here, we characterized the force generated by the leading edge mesoderm (LEM) that migrates preceding axial mesoderm (AM), and investigated the contribution of LEM during Xenopus gastrulation. First, we constructed an assay system using micro-needle which could measure physical forces generated by the anterior migration of LEM, and estimated the absolute magnitude of the force to be 20-80nN. Second, laser ablation experiments showed that LEM could affect the force distribution in the AM (i.e. LEM adds stretch force on axial mesoderm along anterior-posterior axis). Third, migrating LEM was found to be necessary for the proper gastrulation cell movements and the establishment of organized notochord structure; a reduction of LEM migratory activity resulted in the disruption of mediolateral cell orientation and convergence in AM. Finally, we found that LEM migration cooperates with Wnt/PCP to form proper notochord. These results suggest that the force generated by the directional migration of LEM is transmitted to AM and assists the tissue organization of notochord in vivo independently of the regulation by Wnt/PCP. We propose that the LEM may have a mechanical role in aiding the AM elongation through the rearrangement of force distribution in the dorsal marginal zone.

PubMed ID: 23933171
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: adm akr1c1 bcr cer1 ddx59 dvl1 fn1 myod1 not rac1 rhoa sult2a1 tbxt
Antibodies: FLAG Ab2 Fn1 Ab1 GFP Ab9 RFP Ab1
Morpholinos: fn1 MO1 fn1 MO2

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