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A study of epithelial cell delamination in Drosophila

Marinari, E.; (2011) A study of epithelial cell delamination in Drosophila. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The developmental refinement of an epithelium requires finely balanced rates of growth and cell loss. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the achievement of homeostasis, which are likely to be deregulated in tumorigenesis, remain poorly understood. In this work using the fly notum as a model system and laser cutting experiments to test in vivo tissue mechanics, I describe a novel process of live cell delamination that counter-balances tissue growth to ensure the achievement of mechanical equilibrium in the final phases of development. The fly notum is an ideal system to study this type of mechanical buffering since it remains approximately constant in size during the final phases of tissue refinement in development, whilst requiring cell growth, division and cell loss. Individual cells leaving overcrowded regions of the notum by live cell delamination follow a path of progressive junctional and apical area loss, in a 2-step mechanism that is independent of cell death. Cells first undergo serial junctional loss, leading to a cell with a small apex and few sides, followed by Myosin-II driven apical extrusion. This process of live cell delamination can be recapitulated by a simple vertex model of epithelial mechanics, where pressure is relieved as cells leave the tissue via a series of stochastic neighbor exchange events. These findings suggest that crowding-induced live cell delamination is a generic mechanism that buffers epithelia against variations in growth. This has important implications for our understanding of homeostasis and its deregulation in cancer, as well as for cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:A study of epithelial cell delamination in Drosophila
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:The copyright owner, usually the publisher or the author, retains the copyright of publications held in UCL Discovery. You may download and view/print a single copy of any item held in UCL Discovery for your personal, non-commercial use without prior permission or charge, provided that you correctly refer to this paper when making use of the content either as a direct quotation or as a source of information. If the material is required for any purpose other than personal, non-commercial use, you should contact the author or publisher directly for permission.
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > MRC/UCL Lab for Molecular Cell Biology

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