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First-time live imaging leads to key discoveries about how cells pattern in tissue.

Researchers at Northwestern University first visualize how mechanical waves in the eye epithelium (gray) develop cells into a hexagonal pattern of fruit fly eyes (red) using state-of-the-art technology. Did.Credits: Northwestern University

The ability of cells to self-assemble into specific patterns of functioning tissue is a universal feature of life. Zebra stripes, eyelashes, sunflower seed swirls, and snake skin mazes are just a few examples.


Another well-known and well-studied pattern is the fruit fly compound eye.This eye is a highly patterned hexagonal lattice of 800 clusters of photoreceptors. cell.. How does an amorphous mass of cells develop into this accurate and familiar pattern?

Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered that pattern formation involves mechanical forces as well as mechanical forces. Chemical signal It is transmitted between cells. Using this type of live imaging, researchers have seen cells move into place as the eye develops. As previously believed, cells are not static. This key finding provides a principle that needs to be extended to other pattern systems.

Richard Kirshoe, a professor of molecular biology at Weinberg University of Arts and Sciences, said: “But there is no master artist. This study is trying to understand how one pattern, a pattern of great beauty, is formed in the body. Surprisingly, cells are specific. Extruded according to the rules and pulled into place. Like a chess game. ”

This study will be published in the online Life Sciences and Biomedical Journal on February 22nd. eLife..

Carthew and Madhav Mani, assistant professors of engineering science and applied mathematics at the McCormick Institute of Engineering, are co-authors of this paper. Dr. Kevin Gallagher is a student in molecular biology science, a member of Carthew’s lab, and the lead author of this paper.

“This study helps us better understand how life is constructed,” said quantitative biologist Mani. “The process is still mysterious. It’s a model system and I’m studying the fruit fly’s eyes because it teaches me a lot. There are amazing engineering principles to learn from life. We’re open-minded in this study. And learned. Something new about self-organization. ”

“With our custom-built tools, we were able to see something no one had ever seen, a dynamic view of eye development,” said Gallagher, a quantitative biologist. I am saying. “It was completely surprising that the cells were moving places. What we saw didn’t add to the historic paradigm. It’s pretty crazy.”

Researchers at Northwestern University first used state-of-the-art technology to see cells move into place in a developing hexagonal pattern of the Drosophila eye. Not only chemical signals, but also mechanical forces are involved.Credits: I would like Northwestern University credits

The interdisciplinary team used state-of-the-art technology developed by Gallagher to live image and analyze the dynamics of eye self-organization. Researchers have identified new mechanical dynamics that work with genetic and biochemical molecules to coordinate the amazing bioengineering feats that flies achieve. Mechanical forceThe eyes are not properly self-organized.

In addition to live imaging that keeps the eyes alive outside the fly’s body, the success of the study relied on Gallagher, a computational tool built to identify and track all cells. This allowed researchers to see where each cell would move over a 10-hour period. Within a narrow zone called the wavefront of patterning, there is a small cascade of cells that pushes cells out, stops and pushes other cells into place. , The familiar hexagonal grid has emerged.

“Scientists have been working for 50 years to visualize the developing eye,” said Carshoe, an experimental biologist who has been studying fruit fly eyes for a long time. “Just by watching the movie in real time, you can understand what’s going on. Kevin is the first person to achieve this.”

In addition to helping scientists better understand how patterns are formed in nature, the findings can be used in biotechnology to create synthetic vision sensors, Kirshoe said.

“When engineering with Inactive Substances, if you want to be able to do’true’biotechnology, you need to understand the relationship between mechanical and chemical principles,” Mani said. increase.


Towards the Principles of Gene Regulation in Multicellular Systems


For more information:
Kevin D Gallagher et al, The emergence of geometric patterns of cell fate from the dynamics of the Drosophila eye tissue scale,eLife (2022). DOI: 10.7554 / eLife.72806

Quote: First live imaging, cell pattern in tissue (February 22, 2022) acquired from February 22, 2022 https://phys.org/news/2022-02-first-of-its Leads to the main discovery of the method-kind-imaging-major-discovery-cells.html

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First-time live imaging leads to key discoveries about how cells pattern in tissue.

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