Model to Link Cell Shape and Polarity with Organogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


How do flat sheets of cells form gut and neural tubes? Across systems, several mechanisms are at play: cells wedge, form actomyosin cables, or intercalate. As a result, the cell sheet bends, and the tube elongates. It is unclear to what extent each mechanism can drive tube formation on its own. To address this question, we computationally probe if one mechanism, either cell wedging or intercalation, may suffice for the entire sheet-to-tube transition. Using a physical model with epithelial cells represented by polarized point particles, we show that either cell intercalation or wedging alone can be sufficient and that each can both bend the sheet and extend the tube. When working in parallel, the two mechanisms increase the robustness of the tube formation. The successful simulations of the key features in Drosophila salivary gland budding, sea urchin gastrulation, and mammalian neurulation support the generality of our results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100830
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020

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