Cell-Autonomous Ca(2+) Flashes Elicit Pulsed Contractions of an Apical Actin Network to Drive Apical Constriction during Neural Tube Closure
Skourides, Paris A.
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Neurulation is a critical period in all vertebrates and results in the formation of the neural tube, which gives rise to the CNS. Apical constriction is one of the fundamental morphogenetic movements that drives neural tube closure. Using live imaging, we show that apical constriction during the neurulation is a stepwise process driven by cell-autonomous and asynchronous contraction pulses followed by stabilization steps. Our data suggest that contraction events are triggered by cell-autonomous Ca(2+) flashes and are driven by a transient contractile apical pool of actin. In addition, we provide evidence that the cell autonomy and asynchrony of contraction are required for the correct spatial distribution of constriction and, as a result, are critical for tissue morphogenesis. Finally, we identify Calpain2 as a regulator of apical constriction and show that it is required for the stabilization step, but is dispensable during contraction. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.