Mécanique et génétique du développement embryonnaire et tumoral

Publications de l’équipe

Année de publication : 2018

Merle T, Farge E. (2018 Aug 1)

Trans-scale mechanotransductive cascade of biochemical and biomechanical patterning in embryonic development: the light side of the force.

Curr. Opin. Cell. Biol. : DOI : 10.1016/j.ceb.2018.07.003 En savoir plus

Embryonic development is made of complex tissue shape changes and cell differentiation tissue patterning. Both types of morphogenetic processes, respectively biomechanical and biochemical in nature, were historically long considered as disconnected. Evidences of the biochemical patterning control of morphogenesis accumulated during the last 3 decades. Recently, new data revealed reversal mechanotransductive feedback demonstrating the strong coupling between embryonic biomechanical and biochemical patterning. Here we will review the findings of the emerging field of mechanotransduction in animal developmental biology and its most recent advancements. We will see how such mechanotransductive cascade of biochemical and mechanical patterning events ensures trans-scale direct cues of co-regulation of the microscopic biomolecular activities with the macroscopic morphological patterning. Mechanotransduction regulates many aspects of embryonic development including efficient collective cell behaviour, distant tissues morphogenesis coordination, and the robust coordination of tissue shape morphogenesis with differentiation.

Röper Jens-Christian, Mitrossilis Démosthène, Stirnemann Guillaume, Waharte François, Brito Isabel, Fernandez-Sanchez Maria-Elena, Baaden Marc, Salamero Jean, Farge Emmanuel (2018 Jul 19)

The major β-catenin/E-cadherin junctional binding site is a primary molecular mechano-transductor of differentiation in vivo

eLIFE : 7:e33381. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.33381 : DOI : DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.33381 En savoir plus

In vivo, the primary molecular mechanotransductive events mechanically initiating cell differentiation remain unknown. Here we find the molecular stretching of the highly conserved Y654-beta-catenin-D665-E-cadherin binding site as mechanically induced by tissue strain. It triggers the increase of accessibility of the Y654 site, target of the Src42A kinase phosphorylation leading to irreversible unbinding. Molecular dynamics simulations of the beta-catenin/E-cadherin complex under a force mimicking a 6 pN physiological mechanical strain predict a local 45% stretching between the two a-helices linked by the site and a 15% increase in accessibility of the phosphorylation site. Both are quantitatively observed using FRET lifetime imaging and non-phospho Y654 specific antibody labelling, in response to the mechanical strains developed by endogenous and magnetically mimicked early mesoderm invagination of gastrulating Drosophila embryos. This is followed by the predicted release of 16% of beta-catenin from junctions, observed in FRAP, which initiates the mechanical activation of the b-catenin pathway process.

Broders-Bondon Florence, Nguyen Ho-Bouldoires Thanh, Fernandez-Sanchez Maria Elena-Farge Emmanuel (2018 May 17)

Mechanotransduction in tumor progression: The dark side of the force.

Journal of Cell Biology : 217(5):1571-1587 : DOI : 10.1083/jcb.201701039 En savoir plus

Cancer has been characterized as a genetic disease, associated with mutations that cause pathological alterations of the cell cycle, adhesion, or invasive motility. Recently, the importance of the anomalous mechanical properties of tumor tissues, which activate tumorigenic biochemical pathways, has become apparent. This mechanical induction in tumors appears to consist of the destabilization of adult tissue homeostasis as a result of the reactivation of embryonic developmental mechanosensitive pathways in response to pathological mechanical strains. These strains occur in many forms, for example, hypervascularization in late tumors leads to high static hydrodynamic pressure that can promote malignant progression through hypoxia or anomalous interstitial liquid and blood flow. The high stiffness of tumors directly induces the mechanical activation of biochemical pathways enhancing the cell cycle, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and cell motility. Furthermore, increases in solid-stress pressure associated with cell hyperproliferation activate tumorigenic pathways in the healthy epithelial cells compressed by the neighboring tumor. The underlying molecular mechanisms of the translation of a mechanical signal into a tumor inducing biochemical signal are based on mechanically induced protein conformational changes that activate classical tumorigenic signaling pathways. Understanding these mechanisms will be important for the development of innovative treatments to target such mechanical anomalies in cancer.


Année de publication : 2017

Démosthène Mitrossilis, Jens-Christian Röper, Damien Le Roy, Benjamin Driquez, Aude Michel, Christine Ménager, Gorky Shaw, Simon Le Denmat, Laurent Ranno, Frédéric Dumas-Bouchiat, Nora M Dempsey, Emmanuel Farge (2017 Jan 24)

Mechanotransductive cascade of Myo-II-dependent mesoderm and endoderm invaginations in embryo gastrulation.

Nature communications : 13883 : DOI : 10.1038/ncomms13883 En savoir plus

Animal development consists of a cascade of tissue differentiation and shape change. Associated mechanical signals regulate tissue differentiation. Here we demonstrate that endogenous mechanical cues also trigger biochemical pathways, generating the active morphogenetic movements shaping animal development through a mechanotransductive cascade of Myo-II medio-apical stabilization. To mimic physiological tissue deformation with a cell scale resolution, liposomes containing magnetic nanoparticles are injected into embryonic epithelia and submitted to time-variable forces generated by a linear array of micrometric soft magnets. Periodic magnetically induced deformations quantitatively phenocopy the soft mechanical endogenous snail-dependent apex pulsations, rescue the medio-apical accumulation of Rok, Myo-II and subsequent mesoderm invagination lacking in sna mutants, in a Fog-dependent mechanotransductive process. Mesoderm invagination then activates Myo-II apical accumulation, in a similar Fog-dependent mechanotransductive process, which in turn initiates endoderm invagination. This reveals the existence of a highly dynamic self-inductive cascade of mesoderm and endoderm invaginations, regulated by mechano-induced medio-apical stabilization of Myo-II.


Année de publication : 2016

Nicolas Borghi, Emmanuel Farge, Christophe Lavelle (2016 Feb 21)

Experimental approaches in mechanotransduction: From molecules to pathology.

Methods (San Diego, Calif.) : 1-3 : DOI : 10.1016/j.ymeth.2016.01.007 En savoir plus


Année de publication : 2015

Maria-Elena Fernandez-Sanchez, Thibaut Brunet, Jens-Christian Röper, Emmanuel Farge (2015 Sep 24)

Mechanotransduction’s impact on animal development, evolution, and tumorigenesis.

Annual review of cell and developmental biology : 373-97 : DOI : 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-102314-112441 En savoir plus

Mechanotransduction translates mechanical signals into biochemical signals. It is based on the soft-matter properties of biomolecules or membranes that deform in response to mechanical loads to trigger activation of biochemical reactions. The study of mechanotransductive processes in cell-structure organization has been initiated in vitro in many biological contexts, such as examining cells’ response to substrate rigidity increases associated with tumor fibrosis and to blood flow pressure. In vivo, the study of mechanotransduction in regulating physiological processes has focused primarily on the context of embryogenesis, with an increasing number of examples demonstrating its importance for both differentiation and morphogenesis. The conservation across species of mechanical induction in early embryonic patterning now suggests that major animal transitions, such as mesoderm emergence, may have been based on mechanotransduction pathways. In adult animal tissues, permanent stiffness and tissue growth pressure contribute to tumorigenesis and appear to reactivate such conserved embryonic mechanosensitive pathways.

María Elena Fernández-Sánchez, Sandrine Barbier, Joanne Whitehead, Gaëlle Béalle, Aude Michel, Heldmuth Latorre-Ossa, Colette Rey, Laura Fouassier, Audrey Claperon, Laura Brullé, Elodie Girard, Nicolas Servant, Thomas Rio-Frio, Hélène Marie, Sylviane Lesieur, Chantal Housset, Jean-Luc Gennisson, Mickaël Tanter, Christine Ménager, Silvia Fre, Sylvie Robine, Emmanuel Farge (2015 Jul 2)

Mechanical induction of the tumorigenic β-catenin pathway by tumour growth pressure.

Nature : 92-5 : DOI : 10.1038/nature14329 En savoir plus

The tumour microenvironment may contribute to tumorigenesis owing to mechanical forces such as fibrotic stiffness or mechanical pressure caused by the expansion of hyper-proliferative cells. Here we explore the contribution of the mechanical pressure exerted by tumour growth onto non-tumorous adjacent epithelium. In the early stage of mouse colon tumour development in the Notch(+)Apc(+/1638N) mouse model, we observed mechanistic pressure stress in the non-tumorous epithelial cells caused by hyper-proliferative adjacent crypts overexpressing active Notch, which is associated with increased Ret and β-catenin signalling. We thus developed a method that allows the delivery of a defined mechanical pressure in vivo, by subcutaneously inserting a magnet close to the mouse colon. The implanted magnet generated a magnetic force on ultra-magnetic liposomes, stabilized in the mesenchymal cells of the connective tissue surrounding colonic crypts after intravenous injection. The magnetically induced pressure quantitatively mimicked the endogenous early tumour growth stress in the order of 1,200 Pa, without affecting tissue stiffness, as monitored by ultrasound strain imaging and shear wave elastography. The exertion of pressure mimicking that of tumour growth led to rapid Ret activation and downstream phosphorylation of β-catenin on Tyr654, imparing its interaction with the E-cadherin in adherens junctions, and which was followed by β-catenin nuclear translocation after 15 days. As a consequence, increased expression of β-catenin-target genes was observed at 1 month, together with crypt enlargement accompanying the formation of early tumorous aberrant crypt foci. Mechanical activation of the tumorigenic β-catenin pathway suggests unexplored modes of tumour propagation based on mechanical signalling pathways in healthy epithelial cells surrounding the tumour, which may contribute to tumour heterogeneity.


Année de publication : 2013

Thibaut Brunet, Adrien Bouclet, Padra Ahmadi, Démosthène Mitrossilis, Benjamin Driquez, Anne-Christine Brunet, Laurent Henry, Fanny Serman, Gaëlle Béalle, Christine Ménager, Frédéric Dumas-Bouchiat, Dominique Givord, Constantin Yanicostas, Damien Le-Roy, Nora M Dempsey, Anne Plessis, Emmanuel Farge (2013 Jun 21)

Evolutionary conservation of early mesoderm specification by mechanotransduction in Bilateria.

Nature communications : 2821 : DOI : 10.1038/ncomms3821 En savoir plus

The modulation of developmental biochemical pathways by mechanical cues is an emerging feature of animal development, but its evolutionary origins have not been explored. Here we show that a common mechanosensitive pathway involving β-catenin specifies early mesodermal identity at gastrulation in zebrafish and Drosophila. Mechanical strains developed by zebrafish epiboly and Drosophila mesoderm invagination trigger the phosphorylation of β-catenin-tyrosine-667. This leads to the release of β-catenin into the cytoplasm and nucleus, where it triggers and maintains, respectively, the expression of zebrafish brachyury orthologue notail and of Drosophila Twist, both crucial transcription factors for early mesoderm identity. The role of the β-catenin mechanosensitive pathway in mesoderm identity has been conserved over the large evolutionary distance separating zebrafish and Drosophila. This suggests mesoderm mechanical induction dating back to at least the last bilaterian common ancestor more than 570 million years ago, the period during which mesoderm is thought to have emerged.


Année de publication : 2011

Benjamin Driquez, Adrien Bouclet, Emmanuel Farge (2011 Nov 25)

Mechanotransduction in mechanically coupled pulsating cells: transition to collective constriction and mesoderm invagination simulation.

Physical biology : 066007 : DOI : 10.1088/1478-3975/8/6/066007 En savoir plus

Embryonic differentiation and morphogenesis require the coordination of the cascades of gene product expression with the morphogenetic sequence of development. The influence of mechanical deformations driven by morphogenetic movements on biochemical activities was recently revealed by the existence of mechanotransduction processes in development, involving both gene transcription and protein behaviour. In the early Drosophila embryo, apical stabilization of Myosin-II leading to mesoderm invagination at the onset of gastrulation was proposed to be triggered in response to the activation of the Fog mechanotransduction pathway by the Snail-dependent active mechanical oscillations of cell apex sizes. Here we simulate the mesoderm as mechanically coupled cells, with pulsatile forces of constriction at the cell level mimicking Snail-dependent active fluctuations of apexes. We define a critical apex diameter triggering active constriction that mimics the activation of the Fog mechanotransduction pathway leading to cell constriction. We find that collective movements trigger the dynamical transition to constriction predicting the experimental dynamics of mesoderm cell apex size decrease with a modulus of contractility four times higher than the passive modulus of elastic deformation of the cells. The contraction wave is activated in a pulsation frequency-dependent process, and propagates at multicellular scales through local cell-cell mechanical interactions. By reproducing the pattern of Snail and Fog gene product protein expression in a simulation of ventral cells, the model phenocopies the pattern of Myo-II apical stabilization, and the dynamic pattern of constriction that initiates along a central sub-domain of the mesoderm. We propose that multicellular mechanical collective effects couple with mechanotransduction biochemical mechanisms to trigger the transition of collective coordinated constriction, through a mechano-genetic process ensuring efficient and regular mesoderm invagination.

Emmanuel Farge (2011 Apr 20)

Mechanotransduction in development.

Current topics in developmental biology : 243-65 : DOI : 10.1016/B978-0-12-385065-2.00008-6 En savoir plus

Biochemical patterning and morphogenetic movements coordinate the design of embryonic development. The molecular processes that pattern and closely control morphogenetic movements are today becoming well understood. Recent experimental evidence demonstrates that mechanical cues generated by morphogenesis activate mechanotransduction pathways, which in turn regulate cytoskeleton remodeling, cell proliferation, tissue differentiation. From Drosophila oocytes and embryos to Xenopus and mouse embryos and Arabidopsis meristem, here we review the developmental processes known to be activated in vivo by the mechanical strains associated to embryonic multicellular tissue morphogenesis. We describe the genetic, mechanical, and magnetic tools that have allowed the testing of mechanical induction in development by a step-by-step uncoupling of genetic inputs from mechanical inputs in embryogenesis. We discuss the known underlying molecular mechanisms involved in such mechanotransduction processes, including the Armadillo/β-catenin activation of Twist and the Fog-dependent stabilization of Myosin-II. These mechanotransduction processes are associated with a variety of physiological functions, such as mid-gut differentiation, mesoderm invagination and skeletal joint differentiation in embryogenesis, cell migration and internal pressure regulation during oogenesis, and meristem morphogenesis. We describe how the conservation of associated mechanosensitive pathways in embryonic and adult tissues opens new perspectives on mechanical involvement, potentially in evolution, and in cancer progression.


Année de publication : 2010

Maria-Elena Fernandez-Sanchez, Fanny Serman, Padra Ahmadi, Emmanuel Farge (2010 Sep 7)

Mechanical induction in embryonic development and tumor growth integrative cues through molecular to multicellular interplay and evolutionary perspectives.

Methods in cell biology : 295-321 : DOI : 10.1016/S0091-679X(10)98012-6 En savoir plus

Embryonic development is a coordination of multicellular biochemical patterning and morphogenetic movements. Last decades revealed the close control of myosin-II-dependent biomechanical morphogenesis by patterning gene expression, with constant progress in the understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Reversed control of developmental gene expression and of myosin-II patterning by the mechanical strains developed by morphogenetic movements was recently revealed at Drosophila gastrulation, through mechanotransduction processes involving the Armadillo/beta-catenin and the downstream of Fog Rho pathways. Here, we present the theoretical (simulations integrating the accumulated knowledge in the genetics of early embryonic development and morphogenesis) and the experimental (genetic and biophysical control of morphogenetic movements) tools having allowed the uncoupling of pure genetic inputs from pure mechanical inputs in the regulation of gene expression and myosin-II patterning. Specifically, we describe the innovative magnetic tweezers tools we have set up to measure and apply physiological strains and forces in vivo, from the inside of the tissue, to modulate and mimic morphogenetic movements in living embryos. We discuss mechanical induction incidence in tumor development and perspective in evolution.


Année de publication : 2009

Philippe-Alexandre Pouille, Padra Ahmadi, Anne-Christine Brunet, Emmanuel Farge (2009 Apr 9)

Mechanical signals trigger Myosin II redistribution and mesoderm invagination in Drosophila embryos.

Science signaling : ra16 : DOI : 10.1126/scisignal.2000098 En savoir plus

During Drosophila gastrulation, two waves of constriction occur in the apical ventral cells, leading to mesoderm invagination. The first constriction wave is a stochastic process mediated by the constriction of 40% of randomly positioned mesodermal cells and is controlled by the transcription factor Snail. The second constriction wave immediately follows and involves the other 60% of the mesodermal cells. The second wave is controlled by the transcription factor Twist and requires the secreted protein Fog. Complete mesoderm invagination requires redistribution of the motor protein Myosin II to the apical side of the constricting cells. We show that apical redistribution of Myosin II and mesoderm invagination, both of which are impaired in snail homozygous mutants that are defective in both constriction waves, are rescued by local mechanical deformation of the mesoderm with a micromanipulated needle. Mechanical deformation appears to promote Fog-dependent signaling by inhibiting Fog endocytosis. We propose that the mechanical tissue deformation that occurs during the Snail-dependent stochastic phase is necessary for the Fog-dependent signaling that mediates the second collective constriction wave.


Année de publication : 2008

Philippe-Alexandre Pouille, Emmanuel Farge (2008 Apr 12)

Hydrodynamic simulation of multicellular embryo invagination.

Physical biology : 015005 : DOI : 10.1088/1478-3975/5/1/015005 En savoir plus

The mechanical aspects of embryonic morphogenesis have been widely analysed by numerical simulations of invagination in sea urchins and Drosophila gastrulation. Finite element models, which describe the tissue as a continuous medium, lead to the global invagination morphogenesis observed in vivo. Here we develop a simulation of multicellular embryo invagination that allows access to both cellular and multicellular mechanical behaviours of the embryo. In this model, the tissue is composed of adhesive individual cells, in which shape change dynamics is governed by internal acto-myosin forces and the hydrodynamic flow associated with membrane movements. We investigated the minimal structural and force elements sufficient to phenocopy mesoderm invagination. The minimal structures are cell membranes characterized by an acto-myosin cortical tension and connected by apical and basal junctions and an acto-myosin contractile ring connected to the apical junctions. An increase in the apical-cortical surface tension is the only control parameter change required to phenocopy most known multicellular and cellular shape changes of Drosophila gastrulation. Specifically, behaviours observed in vivo, including apical junction movements at the onset of gastrulation, cell elongation and subsequent shortening during invagination, and the development of a dorso-ventral gradient of thickness of the embryo, are predicted by this model as passive mechanical consequences of the genetically controlled increase in the apical surface tension in invaginating mesoderm cells, thus demonstrating the accurate description of structures at both global and single cell scales.

Joanne Whitehead, Danijela Vignjevic, Claus Fütterer, Emmanuel Beaurepaire, Sylvie Robine, Emmanuel Farge (2008 Mar 18)

Mechanical factors activate beta-catenin-dependent oncogene expression in APC mouse colon.

HFSP journal : 286-94 : DOI : 10.2976/1.2955566 En savoir plus

beta-catenin acts as a critical regulator of gastrointestinal homeostasis through its control of the Wnt signaling pathway, and genetic or epigenetic lesions which activate Wnt signaling are the primary feature of colon cancer. beta-catenin is also a key element of mechanotranscription pathways, leading to upregulation of master developmental gene expression during Drosophila gastrulation, or regulating mammalian bone development and maintenance. Here we investigate the impact of mechanical stimulation on the initiation of colon cancer. Myc and Twist1, two oncogenes regulated through beta-catenin, are expressed in response to transient compression in APC deficient (APC(1638N+)) colon tissue explants, but not in wild-type colon explants. Mechanical stimulation of APC(1638N+) tissue leads to the phosphorylation of beta-catenin at tyrosine 654, the site of interaction with E-cadherin, as well as to increased nuclear localization of beta-catenin. The mechanical activation of Myc and Twist1 expression in APC(1638N+) colon can be prevented by blocking beta-catenin phosphorylation using Src kinase inhibitors. Microenvironmental signals are known to cooperate with genetic lesions to promote the nuclear beta-catenin accumulation which drives colon cancer. Here we demonstrate that when APC is limiting, mechanical strain, such as that associated with intestinal transit or tumor growth, can be interpreted by cells of preneoplastic colon tissue as a signal to initiate a beta-catenin dependent transcriptional program characteristic of cancer.

Chunyue Yin, Maria Kiskowski, Philippe-Alexandre Pouille, Emmanuel Farge, Lilianna Solnica-Krezel (2008 Jan 16)

Cooperation of polarized cell intercalations drives convergence and extension of presomitic mesoderm during zebrafish gastrulation.

The Journal of cell biology : 221-32 : DOI : 10.1083/jcb.200704150 En savoir plus

During vertebrate gastrulation, convergence and extension (C&E) movements narrow and lengthen the embryonic tissues, respectively. In zebrafish, regional differences of C&E movements have been observed; however, the underlying cell behaviors are poorly understood. Using time-lapse analyses and computational modeling, we demonstrate that C&E of the medial presomitic mesoderm is achieved by cooperation of planar and radial cell intercalations. Radial intercalations preferentially separate anterior and posterior neighbors to promote extension. In knypek;trilobite noncanonical Wnt mutants, the frequencies of cell intercalations are altered and the anteroposterior bias of radial intercalations is lost. This provides evidence for noncanonical Wnt signaling polarizing cell movements between different mesodermal cell layers. We further show using fluorescent fusion proteins that during dorsal mesoderm C&E, the noncanonical Wnt component Prickle localizes at the anterior cell edge, whereas Dishevelled is enriched posteriorly. Asymmetrical localization of Prickle and Dishevelled to the opposite cell edges in zebrafish gastrula parallels their distribution in fly, and suggests that noncanonical Wnt signaling defines distinct anterior and posterior cell properties to bias cell intercalations.