The emergence of spontaneous coordinated epithelial rotation on cylindrical curved surfaces



Glentis A, Blanch-Mercader C, Balasubramaniam L, Saw TB, d’Alessandro J, Janel S, Douanier A, Delaval B, Lafont F, Lim CT, Delacour D, Prost J, Xi W,
Ladoux B



Sci Adv.

2022 Sep 16


Three-dimensional collective epithelial rotation around a given axis represents a coordinated cellular movement driving tissue morphogenesis and transformation. Questions regarding these behaviors and their relationship with substrate curvatures are intimately linked to spontaneous active matter processes and to vital morphogenetic and embryonic processes. Here, using interdisciplinary approaches, we study the dynamics of epithelial layers lining different cylindrical surfaces. We observe large-scale, persistent, and circumferential rotation in both concavely and convexly curved cylindrical tissues. While epithelia of inverse curvature show an orthogonal switch in actomyosin network orientation and opposite apicobasal polarities, their rotational movements emerge and vary similarly within a common curvature window. We further reveal that this persisting rotation requires stable cell-cell adhesion and Rac-1–dependent cell polarity. Using an active polar gel model, we unveil the different relationships of collective cell polarity and actin alignment with curvatures, which lead to coordinated rotational behavior despite the inverted curvature and cytoskeleton order.