New tools reveal PCP-dependent polarized mechanics in the cortex and cytoplasm of single cells during convergent extension

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New tools reveal PCP-dependent polarized mechanics in the cortex and cytoplasm of single cells during convergent extension

Authors

Weng, S.; Devitt, C. C.; Nyaoga, B. M.; Havnen, A. E.; Alvarado, J.; Wallingford, J. B.

Abstract

Understanding biomechanics of biological systems is crucial for unraveling complex processes like tissue morphogenesis. However, current methods for studying cellular mechanics in vivo are limited by the need for specialized equipment and oSen provide limited spatiotemporal resolution. Here we introduce two new techniques, Tension by Transverse Fluctuation (TFlux) and in vivo microrheology, that overcome these limitations. They both offer time-resolved, subcellular biomechanical analysis using only fluorescent reporters and widely available microscopes. Employing these two techniques, we have revealed a planar cell polarity (PCP)-dependent mechanical gradient both in the cell cortex and the cytoplasm of individual cells engaged in convergent extension. Importantly, the non-invasive nature of these methods holds great promise for its application for uncovering subcellular mechanical variations across a wide array of biological contexts.

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