Adhesion Functions in Cell Sorting by Mechanically Coupling the Cortices of Adhering Cells
Embryonic Cell Sorting and Movement
Differential cell adhesion has long been thought to drive cell sorting.
, published online 23 August) show that cell sorting in zebrafish gastrulation is triggered by differences in the ability of cells to modulate cortex tension at cell-cell contacts, thereby controlling contact expansion. Cell adhesion functions in this process by mechanically coupling the cortices of adhering cells at their contacts, allowing cortex tension to control contact expansion. In zebrafish epiboly the enveloping cell layer (EVL)—a surface epithelium formed at the animal pole of the gastrula—gradually spreads over the entire yolk cell to engulf it at the end of gastrulation.
) show that an actomyosin ring connected to the epithelial margin triggers EVL spreading both by contracting around its circumference and by generating a pulling force through resistance against retrograde actomyosin flow.