Summary: This Spotlight summarizes the themes that emerged from a recent workshop organized by The Company of Biologists on ‘Thinking beyond the dish: taking in vitro neural differentiation to the next level’, highlighting the limitations and potential applications of organoid-based technologies.
Summary: This Review compares mechanisms underlying asymmetric heart morphogenesis and the dynamics thereof in fish, chick and mouse, relating them to clinical presentations and providing an evolutionary perspective.
STEM CELLS AND REGENERATION
Highlighted Article: Motor neurons made by stem cell differentiation and lineage conversion are highly similar to their primary counterparts, yet carry distinct differences that can impact their utility in translational studies.
Summary: The accumulation of Drosophila germline mRNAs within polar granules is controlled by complex 3′UTR localization signals with distinct sub-elements that target mRNAs to the granules and promote mRNA clustering within them.
Highlighted Article: The Hippo pathway effector Taz is required for the formation of the micropylar cell, a unique enlarged follicle cell in the ovary, and is essential for fertilization in zebrafish.
The Ric-8A/Gα13/FAK signalling cascade controls focal adhesion formation during neural crest cell migration in Xenopus
Summary: Ric-8A-mediated Gα13 signalling, through Src and FAK, organizes the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and regulates focal adhesion properties and protrusion formation in Xenopus.
Summary: Hey2 controls the proliferative capacity of zebrafish cardiac progenitors, affecting the subsequent contribution of late-differentiating cardiac progenitors to the developing vertebrate heart, and ensuring a proper and timely growth of the heart.
Summary: Altering the Short gastrulation glycosylation status could add great diversity to its function in regulating the pattern of bone morphogenetic protein activity in cells, wings and embryos during Drosophila development.
Summary: Examination of cell shape changes during zebrafish neuroepithelium tissue folding reveals that Wnt5b specifically regulates basal anisotropic cell shape via a microtubule-dependent mechanism, likely involving JNK signaling.
Summary: In vivo and in vitro studies of superior cervical ganglion neurons of April−/− mice reveal that TWE-PRIL is a physiological regulator of NGF-promoted sympathetic axon growth, acting as a reverse signalling receptor.
Hedgehog signaling regulates cell motility and optic fissure and stalk formation during vertebrate eye morphogenesis
Summary: Multidimensional imaging of ptch2 mutant zebrafish uncovers a role for the Hh signaling pathway in regulating the cell and tissue dynamics underlying early eye morphogenesis.
Inhibition of cell fate repressors secures the differentiation of the touch receptor neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans
Summary: ZAG-1, a ZEB family transcription factor, safeguards fate specification of C. elegans touch receptor neurons by inhibiting a TEA domain-containing repressor, revealing its role in neuronal fate choice.
Vangl2-dependent regulation of membrane protrusions and directed migration requires a fibronectin extracellular matrix
Summary: The extracellular matrix protein fibronectin plays an important role in membrane protrusion formation and polarization in migrating gastrula cells, interacting with the planar cell polarity protein Vangl2.
Summary: Prp8 has been identified as a modulator of oncogenic growth in multiple Drosophila cancer models, which suggests the spliceosome as a potential context-dependent target in cancers.
TECHNIQUES AND RESOURCES
ROSA26 reporter mouse lines and image analyses reveal distinct region-specific cell behaviors in the visceral endoderm
Summary: Cell lineage analysis and live imaging reveals distinct region-specific cell behaviors in the visceral endoderm of mouse embryos during peri-implantation stages.