Actomyosin regulation by Eph receptor signaling couples boundary cell formation to border sharpness

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The segregation of cells with distinct regional identity underlies formation of a sharp border, which in some tissues serves to organise a boundary signaling centre. It is unclear whether or how border sharpness is coordinated with induction of boundary-specific gene expression. We show that forward signaling of EphA4 is required for border sharpening and induction of boundary cells in the zebrafish hindbrain, which we find both require kinase-dependent signaling, with a lesser input of PDZ domain-dependent signaling. We find that boundary-specific gene expression is regulated by myosin II phosphorylation, which increases actomyosin contraction downstream of EphA4 signaling. Myosin phosphorylation leads to nuclear translocation of Taz, which together with Tead1a is required for boundary marker expression. Since actomyosin contraction maintains sharp borders, there is direct coupling of border sharpness to boundary cell induction that ensures correct organisation of signaling centres.

Journal details

Journal eLife
Volume 8
Pages e49696
Publication date