University of Cambridge > > Morphogenesis Seminar Series > Role of mechano-gated ion channels in epithelial tissue morphogenesis

Role of mechano-gated ion channels in epithelial tissue morphogenesis

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Force-gated channels enable sensation of touch and sound by transducing mechanical stimuli into ion influx and an action potential. However, their function remains unclear in mechano-sensation and force generation during epithelial morphogenesis. Here, we have analyzed multiple mechano-gated ion channels for a function in tissue morphogenesis, including Tmc. We found that Tmc channels control intracellular Ca2+ in epithelial wounding and synchronize periodic cell contractions in a force-generating embryonic epithelium. As predicted by a data-driven model for cell synchronization, Tmc- dependent synchronization establishes isotropic force balance and cell morphology by mediating the emergence of a ring-like array of synchronously contracting cells shielding the tissue from external stresses. Thus, Tmc transduces forces into Ca2+ signals that synchronize and pattern cell behavior. Our results suggest that the evolution of mechano-transduction in metazoans has tailored force-gated ion channels dually for detecting environmental and morphogenetic force.

This talk is part of the Morphogenesis Seminar Series series.

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