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Cytokinesis, the physical separation of daughter cells at the end of mitosis, requires precise regulation of the mechanical properties of the cell periphery. Although studies of cytokinetic mechanics mostly focus on the equatorial constriction ring, a contractile actomyosin cortex is also present at the poles of dividing cells. Whether polar forces(More)
Blebs are spherical membrane protrusions often observed during cell migration, cell spreading, cytokinesis, and apoptosis, both in cultured cells and in vivo. Bleb expansion is thought to be driven by the contractile actomyosin cortex, which generates hydrostatic pressure in the cytoplasm and can thus drive herniations of the plasma membrane. However, the(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)
How tissue shape emerges from the collective mechanical properties and behavior of individual cells is not understood. We combine experiment and theory to study this problem in the developing wing epithelium of Drosophila. At pupal stages, the wing-hinge contraction contributes to anisotropic tissue flows that reshape the wing blade. Here, we quantitatively(More)
Contractile actomyosin rings drive various fundamental morphogenetic processes ranging from cytokinesis to wound healing. Actomyosin rings are generally thought to function by circumferential contraction. Here, we show that the spreading of the enveloping cell layer (EVL) over the yolk cell during zebrafish gastrulation is driven by a contractile actomyosin(More)
The cortex is a thin, crosslinked actin network lying immediately beneath the plasma membrane of animal cells. Myosin motors exert contractile forces in the meshwork. Because the cortex is attached to the cell membrane, it plays a central role in cell shape control. The proteic constituents of the cortex undergo rapid turnover, making the cortex both(More)
Single and collective cellular oscillations involving the actomyosin cytoskeleton have been observed in numerous biological systems. We show here that a generic model of a contractile material, which is turning over and contracts against an elastic element, exhibits spontaneous oscillations. Such a model can thus account for shape oscillations observed in(More)
The composite and versatile structure of the cytoskeleton confers complex mechanical properties on cells. Actin filaments sustain the cell membrane and their dynamics insure cell shape changes. For example, the lamellipodium moves by actin polymerization, a mechanism that has been studied using simplified experimental systems. Much less is known about the(More)
We demonstrate that 3T3 fibroblast cells can exhibit periodic shape oscillations following a loss of cell-substrate adhesion. The oscillatory behavior can last many hours at a constant frequency, and can be switched off and on using chemical agents. We show that the oscillation frequency increases with increasing acto-myosin contractility. The oscillations(More)
The orderly packing and precise arrangement of epithelial cells is essential to the functioning of many tissues, and refinement of this packing during development is a central theme in animal morphogenesis. The mechanisms that determine epithelial cell shape and position, however, remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigate these mechanisms in a(More)