Frank Jülicher

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BACKGROUND Epithelial junctional networks assume packing geometries characterized by different cell shapes, neighbor number distributions and areas. The development of specific packing geometries is tightly controlled; in the Drosophila wing epithelium, cells convert from an irregular to a hexagonal array shortly before hair formation. Packing geometry is(More)
Planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins form polarized cortical domains that govern polarity of external structures such as hairs and cilia in both vertebrate and invertebrate epithelia. The mechanisms that globally orient planar polarity are not understood, and are investigated here in the Drosophila wing using a combination of experiment and theory. Planar(More)
In the developing fly wing, secreted morphogens such as Decapentaplegic (Dpp) and Wingless (Wg) form gradients of concentration providing positional information. Dpp forms a longer-range gradient than Wg. To understand how the range is controlled, we measured the four key kinetic parameters governing morphogen spreading: the production rate, the effective(More)
Asymmetric cell divisions are essential for the development of multicellular organisms. To proceed, they require an initially symmetric cell to polarize. In Caenorhabditis elegans zygotes, anteroposterior polarization is facilitated by a large-scale flow of the actomyosin cortex, which directs the asymmetry of the first mitotic division. Cortical flows(More)
In sexually reproducing organisms, embryos specify germ cells, which ultimately generate sperm and eggs. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the first germ cell is established when RNA and protein-rich P granules localize to the posterior of the one-cell embryo. Localization of P granules and their physical nature remain poorly understood. Here we show that P(More)
Cells organize many of their biochemical reactions in non-membrane compartments. Recent evidence has shown that many of these compartments are liquids that form by phase separation from the cytoplasm. Here we discuss the basic physical concepts necessary to understand the consequences of liquid-like states for biological functions.
Subdividing proliferating tissues into compartments is an evolutionarily conserved strategy of animal development [1-6]. Signals across boundaries between compartments can result in local expression of secreted proteins organizing growth and patterning of tissues [1-6]. Sharp and straight interfaces between compartments are crucial for stabilizing the(More)
Morphogens, such as Decapentaplegic (Dpp) in the fly imaginal discs, form graded concentration profiles that control patterning and growth of developing organs. In the imaginal discs, proliferative growth is homogeneous in space, posing the conundrum of how morphogen concentration gradients could control position-independent growth. To understand the(More)
Just as the size of an organism is carefully controlled, the size of intracellular structures must also be regulated. The mitotic spindle is a supramolecular machine that generates the forces which separate sister chromatids during mitosis. Although spindles show little size variation between cells of the same type, spindle length can vary at least 10-fold(More)
Differential cell adhesion and cortex tension are thought to drive cell sorting by controlling cell-cell contact formation. Here, we show that cell adhesion and cortex tension have different mechanical functions in controlling progenitor cell-cell contact formation and sorting during zebrafish gastrulation. Cortex tension controls cell-cell contact(More)