EphrinB2 coordinates the formation of a morphological boundary and cell epithelialization during somite segmentation

Tadayoshi Watanabe, Yuki Sato, Daisuke Saito, Ryosuke Tadokoro, Yoshiko Takahashi

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During early morphogenesis, tissue segregation is often accompanied by changes in cell shape. To understand how such coordination is regulated, somitogenesis was used as a model. When a somite forms in the anterior end of the presomitic mesoderm, an intersomitic boundary (gap) emerges, and it is rapidly followed by cell epithelialization at this border. It has been known that the gap formation is regulated by intercellular signals. We here demonstrate that cMeso-1, the chicken homolog of mouse Mesp2, upregulates EphA4 in the cells located posteriorly to a forming boundary. This in turn activates EphrinB2-reverse signals in the anteriorly juxtaposed cells, where the EphrinB2 signal is sufficient to cause a gap formation and cell epithelialization cell-autonomously. During these processes, Cdc42 needs to be repressed via tyrosine phosphorylation of EphrinB2. This is the first demonstration that Ephrin-reverse signal acts as a platform that couples distinct morphogenetic changes in cell polarity and tissue shape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7467-7472
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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