Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2018-07-27

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05376-1

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 16

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Research Highlight

How sheets of cells can turn into tubes

© DEA/P. CASTANO/Getty

© DEA/P. CASTANO/Getty

An irregular three-dimensional (3D) shape has been discovered that helps explain how tubes of cells form.

Sheets of cells called epithelia line the outer and inner surfaces of most organs in the body, but it is unclear how cells adapt to create a solid curve.

A team that included researchers from the Spanish National Research Council modelled a new 3D shape that cells could adopt to enable epithelial sheets to form a tube. The team named this shape, which has one triangular face, scutoid after the Latin for shield. To confirm the shape exists in living cells, the researchers searched for and found scutoids in the tubular salivary glands of flies.

Understanding how tissue architecture changes during development stages could aid the development of artificial organs.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 9, 2960 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05376-1
Institutions FC
Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS), Spain 0.56
Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD), Spain 0.19
Department of Applied Mathematics I, US, Spain 0.13
Department of Bioengineering, Lehigh University, United States of America (USA) 0.03
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Lehigh University, United States of America (USA) 0.03
Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology (CBMSO), Spain 0.02
Biomedical Research Networking Center on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Spain 0.02
St George's, University of London (SGUL), United Kingdom (UK) 0.02

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