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Mechanical Induction in Embryonic Development and Tumor Growth: Integrative Cues Through Molecular to Multicellular Interplay and Evolutionary Perspectives

Abstract : Embryonic development is a coordination of multicellular biochemical patterning and morphogenetic movements. Last decades revealed the close control of myosin-II-dependent biomechanical morphogenesis by patterning gene expression, with constant progress in the understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Reversed control of developmental gene expression and of myosin-II patterning by the mechanical strains developed by morphogenetic movements was recently revealed at Drosophila gastrulation, through mechanotransduction processes involving the Armadillo/beta-catenin and the downstream of Fog Rho pathways. Here, we present the theoretical (simulations integrating the accumulated knowledge in the genetics of early embryonic development and morphogenesis) and the experimental (genetic and biophysical control of morphogenetic movements) tools having allowed the uncoupling of pure genetic inputs from pure mechanical inputs in the regulation of gene expression and myosin-II patterning. Specifically, we describe the innovative magnetic tweezers tools we have set up to measure and apply physiological strains and forces in vivo, from the inside of the tissue, to modulate and mimic morphogenetic movements in living embryos. We discuss mechanical induction incidence in tumor development and perspective in evolution.
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Maria-Elena Fernandez-Sanchez, Fanny Serman, Padra Ahmadi, Emmanuel Farge. Mechanical Induction in Embryonic Development and Tumor Growth: Integrative Cues Through Molecular to Multicellular Interplay and Evolutionary Perspectives. Methods in Cell Biology, 98, pp.295-321, 2010, ⟨10.1016/S0091-679X(10)98012-6⟩. ⟨inserm-02440979⟩

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