DOI: 10.1101/481325Dec 1, 2018Paper

Dynamically Evolving Cell Sizes During Early Development Enable Normal Gastrulation Movements In Zebrafish Embryos

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Triveni MenonSreelaja Nair


Current knowledge of the mechanisms of cell migration is based on differentiated cells in culture where it is known that the actomyosin machinery drives migration via dynamic interactions with the extracellular matrix and adhesion complexes. However, unlike differentiated cells, cells in early metazoan embryos must also dynamically change cell sizes as they migrate. The relevance of cell size to cell migration and embryonic development is not known. Here we investigate this phenomena in zebrafish embryos, a model system in which reductive cell divisions causes cell sizes to decrease naturally over time as cells migrate collectively to sculpt the embryonic body plan. We show that cell size reduction during early development follows power-law scaling. Because mutations that can perturb cell sizes so early in development do not exist, we generate haploid and tetraploid zebrafish embryos and show that cell sizes in such embryos are smaller and larger than the diploid norm, respectively. Cells in embryos made of smaller or larger than normal cells migrate sub-optimally, leading to gastrulation defects. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the observed defects originate from altered cell size rather than from pleotropic effects of...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cell Division
Cell Growth
Embryonic Development
Transcription, Genetic

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