Research in 'Epithelia Dynamics and Mechanics' Team

Our Goals

Deciphering the molecular mechanisms by which cell adhesion controls multicellular organization of tissues has been the subject of extensive research for decades. Epithelia are mosaic tissues made of cells of distinct identities. They act as mechanical and paracellular diffusion barriers thanks to intercellular junctions. Cell junctions must be both robust to maintain tissue integrity, while remaining plastic, prompt to remodelling to allow cell intercalation, division or migration. These coordinated epithelial cell processes are tightly regulated by the integration of biochemical and mechanical inputs to ensure the proper morphogenesis, homeostasis and repair of tissues during development and all along adult life.
Using Drosophila pupal sensory organ lineage as a model system and Xenopus embryo, our  goals are to decipher:
- How mechanical and permeability barrier functions are maintained throughout cytokinesis to preserved tissue homeostasis in proliferative epithelia,
- The molecular mechanisms involved in epithelial cell abscission to control cell-cell communication,
- The spatio-temporal control of Notch activation following asymmetric cell division of the sensory organ precursor (SOP). 


Specific Aims to Reach our Goals

Aim 1: Assembly/Disassembly of Bi and Tricellular Junctions and Maintenance of Epithelial Integrity during Cell Proliferation

    1.1 de novo assembly of bicellular and tricellular junctions
    1.2 Interplay between bi- and tri-cellular junctions
    1.3 Functions of tricellular junctions in epithelial homeostasis and regulation of cell shape 
    image 1 bis

Aim 2: Regulation of abscission in epithelial tissues 

    2.1 Role of ESCRT in the regulation of junction remodeling and permeability barrier maintenance
    2.2 Identification of new regulators of epithelial abscission 
    2.3 function(s) of midbody remnants

image 2 bis

Aim 3: Activation of Notch signalling following asymmetric division

    3.1 Remodeling of junctional complexes and cell polarity during SOP division 
    3.2 Regulation of Notch signalling by membrane trafficking
    3.3 Cell mechanics in Notch signalling and organ morphogenesis

amige 3 ter