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Role of Epithelial Apoptotic Force in Morphogenesis

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EPAF project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EPAF project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EPAF" about.

combined    transition    perform    drive    nonetheless    surrounding    fundamental    progression    ecm    generally    eliminated    elegant    leg    first    shown    unexpected    dynamic    function    serves    leads    matrix    apoptosis    basal    anchor    elusive    force    myosin    generation    macro    suggested    apical    interesting    original    apoptotic    adherens    tension    mesenchymal    apico    thought    active    tools    drosophila    live    cellular    autonomous    powerful    planar    pulling    basally    maintenance    gene    mechanisms    genes    polarity    genetic    compare    dynamics    influence    biophysical    morphogenesis    parallel    network    cells    imaging    transmission    understand    emt    apically    epithelio    until    adhesion    whereby    extra    model    passively    preliminary    contrary    micro    epithelium    governing    identification    dependent    modification    tissue    reveal    surroundings    cable    shape    dying    environment    junctions    dissect    techniques    validating    play    beliefs    screen    constriction    orchestrating    snail    folding    ing   

Project "EPAF" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RUE MICHEL ANGE 3
city: PARIS
postcode: 75794

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Total cost 2˙311˙843 €
 EC max contribution 2˙311˙843 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Contrary to previous beliefs, recent studies have suggested that apoptotic cells play an important dynamic role during morphogenesis. Nonetheless, the mechanisms whereby dying cells drive tissue shape modification remain elusive. Using the Drosophila developing leg as a model system to study apoptosis-dependent epithelium folding, we have recently shown that apoptotic cells produce a pulling force through the unexpected maintenance of their adherens junctions that serves as an anchor to an apico-basal Myosin II cable. The resulting apoptotic apico-basal force leads to a non-autonomous increase in tissue tension and apical constriction of surrounding cells, leading to epithelium folding. These results reveal that, far from being passively eliminated as generally thought, dying cells are very active until the end of the apoptotic process. The objective of the present proposal is to understand how apoptotic cells influence their surroundings from the micro-environment to the macro-scale level. Our first aim is to dissect the cellular mechanisms governing the generation of the apoptotic force and its transmission to the tissue, both apically through planar polarity and basally through the extra-cellular matrix (ECM), in parallel with the identification of the network of genes orchestrating apoptosis-dependent morphogenesis through a powerful genetic screen. Interesting preliminary results have already identified the epithelio-mesenchymal-transition gene Snail as essential for the progression of apoptosis, thus validating our approach. Therefore, the second aim of this project is to compare Snail function in the control of adhesion and ECM dynamics and in the generation of tissue tension in both EMT and apoptosis. This original comparative study should bring novel insight into these two fundamental processes. To perform this work, we will use elegant genetic tools combined to state-of-the-art live imaging techniques, together with robust biophysical modelling.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Arnaud Ambrosini, Mélanie Gracia, Amsha Proag, Mégane Rayer, Bruno Monier, Magali Suzanne
Apoptotic forces in tissue morphogenesis
published pages: 33-42, ISSN: 0925-4773, DOI: 10.1016/j.mod.2016.10.001
Mechanisms of Development 144 2019-06-06
2015 Bruno Monier, Magali Suzanne
The morphogenetic role of Apoptosis
published pages: 335-362, ISSN: 0070-2153, DOI: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2015.07.027
Current Topics in Developmental Biology 2019-04-18
2017 Sonia Schott, Arnaud Ambrosini, Audrey Barbaste, Corinne Benassayag, Mélanie Gracia, Amsha Proag, Mégane Rayer, Bruno Monier, Magali Suzanne
A fluorescent toolkit for spatiotemporal tracking of apoptotic cells in living Drosophila tissues
published pages: 3840-3846, ISSN: 0950-1991, DOI: 10.1242/dev.149807
Development 144/20 2019-04-16
2016 Magali Suzanne
Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in leg joint morphogenesis
published pages: 131-138, ISSN: 1084-9521, DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.01.032
Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 55 2019-04-16

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