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Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia

Gómez-Gálvez, P; Vicente-Munuera, P; Tagua, A; Forja, C; Castro, AM; Letrán, M; Valencia-Expósito, A; ... Escudero, LM; + view all (2018) Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia. Nature Communications , 9 , Article 2960. 10.1038/s41467-018-05376-1. Green open access

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Abstract

As animals develop, tissue bending contributes to shape the organs into complex three-dimensional structures. However, the architecture and packing of curved epithelia remains largely unknown. Here we show by means of mathematical modelling that cells in bent epithelia can undergo intercalations along the apico-basal axis. This phenomenon forces cells to have different neighbours in their basal and apical surfaces. As a consequence, epithelial cells adopt a novel shape that we term “scutoid”. The detailed analysis of diverse tissues confirms that generation of apico-basal intercalations between cells is a common feature during morphogenesis. Using biophysical arguments, we propose that scutoids make possible the minimization of the tissue energy and stabilize three-dimensional packing. Hence, we conclude that scutoids are one of nature's solutions to achieve epithelial bending. Our findings pave the way to understand the three-dimensional organization of epithelial organs.

Type: Article
Title: Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05376-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05376-1
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Computational models, Morphogenesis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Lab for Molecular Cell Bio MRC-UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112865
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