Tissue morphogenesis is essential for metazoan development, and some morphogenetic processes involve apoptosis. In this context, apoptosis was initially viewed as passive cell elimination, having no impact on the surrounding tissue. However, our recent study revealed that, unexpectedly, apoptotic cells generate a force that propagates around them, modifying tissue tension and cell shape, during the morphogenesis of the leg joint formation in Drosophila. Moreover, we discovered that this force is generated by the formation of an acto-myosin apico-basal cable inside the apoptotic cell, after caspase induction. Nevertheless, little is known about this cable and the tissue remodeling induced by this force. Recent technical breakthrough should allow us to further characterize the dynamics of apoptotic force generation.
In this project, we take advantage of Airyscan technology – stretching the limits of the 3D spatial resolution in living sample and improving the signal-to-noise ratio – to characterize better the structure and the dynamics of the actin-myosin cable in the apoptotic cells. Recent data reveal the particular dynamics and distribution of Myosin II along the apico-basal cable formed in apoptotic cells. Furthermore, this technique allow us to follow force transmission in the surrounding tissue through Myosin II and apical junction motion with a high temporal resolution.