Polarity-dependent formation of tissue morphology in three dimensions
Fu-Lai Wen1,2*, Chun Wai Kwan2, Yu-Chiun Wang2, Tatsuo Shibata2
1Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
2Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, RIKEN, Kobe, Japan
* Presenter:Fu-Lai Wen, email:joe70136@gmail.com
The apical-basal cell polarity plays a pivotal role in endowing epithelial tissues with normal morphology and biofunctions. Although mounting evidence reveals that remodeling of epithelial cell polarity induces cell shape changes that drive tissue morphogenesis, the physical mechanisms by which cell polarity regulates cellular behaviors remain unclear. Using mathematical modeling and experimental verification, we develop a mechano-chemical model to describe mechanical deformation of tissues induced by biochemical remodeling of cell polarity. We show that epithelial cell polarity not only regulates but also remodeled by cell geometry. In particular, the feedback between cell polarity and mechanics enables epithelial cells to spontaneously modulate their shapes in the absence of external forces, revealing a cell-autonomous mechanism that underlines self-organization of tissue morphology during development. Since remodeling of cell polarity is fundamental to many biological processes such as wound healing and tumor metastasis, our model could potentially provide crucial insights into the polarity-regulated cellular behaviors in diverse systems.

Keywords: Tissue morphogenesis, Epithelial cell polarity, Mathematical modeling