Dev Biol. 2014 Jan 1;385(1):52-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.10.015. Epub 2013 Oct 24
Epiboly, the first morphogenetic cell movement that occurs in the zebrafish embryo, is the process by which the blastoderm thins and spreads to engulf the yolk cell. This process requires the concerted actions of the deep cells, the enveloping layer (EVL) and the extra-embryonic yolk syncytial layer (YSL). The EVL is mechanically coupled to the YSL which acts as an epiboly motor, generating the force necessary to draw the blastoderm towards the vegetal pole though actomyosin flow and contraction of the actomyosin ring. However, it has been proposed that the endocytic removal of yolk cell membrane just ahead of the advancing blastoderm may also play a role. To assess the contribution of yolk cell endocytosis in driving epiboly movements, we used a combination of drug- and dominant-negative-based approaches to inhibit Dynamin, a large GTPase with a well-characterized role in vesicle scission. We show that Dynamin-dependent endocytosis in the yolk cell is dispensable for epiboly of the blastoderm. However, global inhibition of Dynamin function revealed that Dynamin plays a fundamental role within the blastoderm during epiboly, where it maintains epithelial integrity and the transmission of tension across the EVL. The epithelial defects were associated with disrupted tight junctions and a striking reduction of cortically localized phosphorylated ezrin/radixin/moesin (P-ERM), key regulators of epithelial integrity in other systems. Furthermore, we show that Dynamin maintains EVL and promotes epiboly progression by antagonizing Rho A activity.
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