Symmetry breaking mechanism for epithelial cell polarization

A. Veglio, A. Gamba, M. Nicodemi, F. Bussolino, G. Serini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In multicellular organisms, epithelial cells form layers separating compartments responsible for different physiological functions. At the early stage of epithelial layer formation, each cell of an aggregate defines an inner and an outer side by breaking the symmetry of its initial state, in a process known as epithelial polarization. By integrating recent biochemical and biophysical data with stochastic simulations of the relevant reaction-diffusion system, we provide evidence that epithelial cell polarization is a chemical phase-separation process induced by a local bistability in the signaling network at the level of the cell membrane. The early symmetry breaking event triggering phase separation is induced by adhesion-dependent mechanical forces localized in the point of convergence of cell surfaces when a threshold number of confluent cells is reached. The generality of the emerging phase-separation scenario is likely common to many processes of cell polarity formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031919
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2009

Fingerprint

Symmetry Breaking
broken symmetry
Polarization
Cell
Phase Separation
polarization
cells
compartments
organisms
Cell Formation
emerging
polarity
adhesion
Bistability
Stochastic Simulation
Polarity
Adhesion
Reaction-diffusion System
thresholds
symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability

Cite this

Symmetry breaking mechanism for epithelial cell polarization. / Veglio, A.; Gamba, A.; Nicodemi, M.; Bussolino, F.; Serini, G.

In: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, Vol. 80, No. 3, 031919, 29.09.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{5733898e986143dab4a244858afce3ed,
title = "Symmetry breaking mechanism for epithelial cell polarization",
abstract = "In multicellular organisms, epithelial cells form layers separating compartments responsible for different physiological functions. At the early stage of epithelial layer formation, each cell of an aggregate defines an inner and an outer side by breaking the symmetry of its initial state, in a process known as epithelial polarization. By integrating recent biochemical and biophysical data with stochastic simulations of the relevant reaction-diffusion system, we provide evidence that epithelial cell polarization is a chemical phase-separation process induced by a local bistability in the signaling network at the level of the cell membrane. The early symmetry breaking event triggering phase separation is induced by adhesion-dependent mechanical forces localized in the point of convergence of cell surfaces when a threshold number of confluent cells is reached. The generality of the emerging phase-separation scenario is likely common to many processes of cell polarity formation.",
author = "A. Veglio and A. Gamba and M. Nicodemi and F. Bussolino and G. Serini",
year = "2009",
month = "9",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1103/PhysRevE.80.031919",
language = "English",
volume = "80",
journal = "Physical Review E",
issn = "1063-651X",
publisher = "American Physical Society",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Symmetry breaking mechanism for epithelial cell polarization

AU - Veglio, A.

AU - Gamba, A.

AU - Nicodemi, M.

AU - Bussolino, F.

AU - Serini, G.

PY - 2009/9/29

Y1 - 2009/9/29

N2 - In multicellular organisms, epithelial cells form layers separating compartments responsible for different physiological functions. At the early stage of epithelial layer formation, each cell of an aggregate defines an inner and an outer side by breaking the symmetry of its initial state, in a process known as epithelial polarization. By integrating recent biochemical and biophysical data with stochastic simulations of the relevant reaction-diffusion system, we provide evidence that epithelial cell polarization is a chemical phase-separation process induced by a local bistability in the signaling network at the level of the cell membrane. The early symmetry breaking event triggering phase separation is induced by adhesion-dependent mechanical forces localized in the point of convergence of cell surfaces when a threshold number of confluent cells is reached. The generality of the emerging phase-separation scenario is likely common to many processes of cell polarity formation.

AB - In multicellular organisms, epithelial cells form layers separating compartments responsible for different physiological functions. At the early stage of epithelial layer formation, each cell of an aggregate defines an inner and an outer side by breaking the symmetry of its initial state, in a process known as epithelial polarization. By integrating recent biochemical and biophysical data with stochastic simulations of the relevant reaction-diffusion system, we provide evidence that epithelial cell polarization is a chemical phase-separation process induced by a local bistability in the signaling network at the level of the cell membrane. The early symmetry breaking event triggering phase separation is induced by adhesion-dependent mechanical forces localized in the point of convergence of cell surfaces when a threshold number of confluent cells is reached. The generality of the emerging phase-separation scenario is likely common to many processes of cell polarity formation.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=70349972809&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=70349972809&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevE.80.031919

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevE.80.031919

M3 - Article

C2 - 19905158

AN - SCOPUS:70349972809

VL - 80

JO - Physical Review E

JF - Physical Review E

SN - 1063-651X

IS - 3

M1 - 031919

ER -