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Mechanism of Rok planar polarisation at tissue boundaries during morphogenesis

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The MyosinII activator Rok (Rho associated kinase) is involved in a variety of morphogenetic processes during embryonic development. In particular, Rok is planar polarised in a variety of tissues, leading to the formation of Myosin cables. We are using the embryonic salivary gland formation as a morphogenetic model. In this tissue, Rok is planar polarised at the boundary through a mechanism involving a negative regulation by the apical polarity protein Crumbs (Crb) [1]. Using biochemistry, imaging, and a combination of modeling and FRAP experiments, we are exploring the mechanism by which Crb and its intracellular partner aPKC affect Rok membrane dynamics to trigger its polarisation. Moreover, we find that Crb asymmetries together with Rok and Myosin cables happen at other tissue boundaries, indicating that this mechanism could be important in other developmental contexts.

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