The extracellular matrix (ECM), a structure contributed to and commonly shared by many cells in an organism, plays an active role during morphogenesis. Here, we used the Drosophila tracheal system to study the complex relationship between the ECM and epithelial cells during development. We show that there is an active feedback mechanism between the apical ECM (aECM) and the apical F-actin in tracheal cells. Furthermore, we reveal that cell-cell junctions are key players in this aECM patterning and organisation and that individual cells contribute autonomously to their aECM. Strikingly, changes in the aECM influence the levels of phosphorylated Src42A (pSrc) at cell junctions. Therefore, we propose that Src42A phosphorylation levels provide a link for the ECM environment to ensure proper cytoskeletal organisation.
Öztürk-Çolak, A., Moussian, B., Araújo, S. J., & Casanova, J. (2016). A feedback mechanism converts individual cell features into a supracellular ECM structure in drosophila trachea. ELife, 5(FEBRUARY2016). https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09373