Oriented cell division plays a key role in controlling organogenesis. The mechanisms for regulating division orientation at the whole-organ level are only starting to become understood. By combining 3D time-lapse imaging, mouse genetics, and mathematical modeling, we find that global orientation of cell division is the result of a combination of two types of spindles with distinct spindle dynamic behaviors in the developing airway epithelium. Fixed spindles follow the classic long-axis rule and establish their division orientation before metaphase. In contrast, rotating spindles do not strictly follow the long-axis rule and determine their division orientation during metaphase. By using both a cell-based mechanical model and stretching-lung-explant experiments, we showed that mechanical force can function as a regulatory signal in maintaining the stable ratio between fixed spindles and rotating spindles. Our findings demonstrate that mechanical forces, cell geometry, and oriented cell division function together in a highly coordinated manner to ensure normal airway tube morphogenesis.
Pubmed ID: 29337000 RIS Download
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