Douglas W. DeSimone

Learn More
We describe mesendoderm morphogenesis during gastrulation in the frog Xenopus laevis and investigate the mechanics of these movements with tissue explants. When a dorsal marginal zone explant is plated onto fibronectin, the mesendoderm moves away from the dorsal axial tissues as an intact sheet. Mesendodermal cells within these explants display monopolar(More)
In this study we demonstrate that planar cell polarity signaling regulates morphogenesis in Xenopus embryos in part through the assembly of the fibronectin (FN) matrix. We outline a regulatory pathway that includes cadherin adhesion and signaling through Rac and Pak, culminating in actin reorganization, myosin contractility, and tissue tension, which, in(More)
We describe the isolation, characterization, and sequence of cDNA clones encoding one subunit of the complex of membrane glycoproteins that forms part of the transmembrane connection between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. The cDNA sequence encodes a polypeptide of 89 kd that has features strongly suggesting the presence of a large N-terminal(More)
Fibronectin (FN) is reported to be important for early morphogenetic movements in a variety of vertebrate embryos, but the cellular basis for this requirement is unclear. We have used confocal and digital time-lapse microscopy to analyze cell behaviors in Xenopus gastrulae injected with monoclonal antibodies directed against the central cell-binding domain(More)
Collective cell migration requires maintenance of adhesive contacts between adjacent cells, coordination of polarized cell protrusions, and generation of propulsive traction forces. We demonstrate that mechanical force applied locally to C-cadherins on single Xenopus mesendoderm cells is sufficient to induce polarized cell protrusion and persistent(More)
BACKGROUND Integrin recognition of fibronectin is required for normal gastrulation including the mediolateral cell intercalation behaviors that drive convergent extension and the elongation of the frog dorsal axis; however, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are unclear. RESULTS We report that depletion of fibronectin with antisense(More)
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is synthesized and secreted by embryonic cells beginning at the earliest stages of development. Our understanding of ECM composition, structure and function has grown considerably in the last several decades and this knowledge has revealed that the extracellular microenvironment is critically important for cell growth,(More)
The connexin 43 (Cx43) hemichannel (HC) in the mechanosensory osteocytes is a major portal for the release of factors responsible for the anabolic effects of mechanical loading on bone formation and remodeling. However, little is known about how the Cx43 molecule responds to mechanical stimulation leading to the opening of the HC. Here, we demonstrate that(More)
BACKGROUND Convergence extension movements are conserved tissue rearrangements implicated in multiple morphogenetic events. While many of the cell behaviors involved in convergent extension are known, the molecular interactions required for this process remain elusive. However, past evidence suggests that regulation of cell adhesion molecule function is a(More)
Cell-cell and cell-extracellular-matrix (cell-ECM) adhesions have much in common, including shared cytoskeletal linkages, signaling molecules and adaptor proteins that serve to regulate multiple cellular functions. The term 'adhesive crosstalk' is widely used to indicate the presumed functional communication between distinct adhesive specializations in the(More)