Summary: Current understanding of three key cell behaviors central to embryonic development – apical constriction, convergent extension and collective cell migration – are reviewed, with a focus on Drosophila, a powerful model for studying these events.
Summary: Actomyosin networks direct morphogenesis through contractile pulses or the formation of supracellular cables. This Review summarizes the mechanics of network assembly, and provides insights into cell ratcheting, force transmission and pulsatility.
Cytotrophoblast extracellular vesicles enhance decidual cell secretion of immune modulators via TNFα
Highlighted Article: This study identifies human placental extracellular vesicles as a form of intercellular communication between the embryo/fetus and the mother that enhance uterine production of immune-related molecules.
STEM CELLS AND REGENERATION
Delta-like ligand 4-mediated Notch signaling controls proliferation of second heart field progenitor cells by regulating Fgf8 expression
Summary: Dll4-mediated Notch signaling ensures an adequate pool of second heart field progenitors during heart development by maintaining levels of key proteins, such as Fgf8.
An autoregulatory switch in sex-specific phf7 transcription causes loss of sexual identity and tumors in the Drosophila female germline
Summary: Genetic and genomic approaches reveal that when misexpressed in female germ cells, the testis-specific PHF7 protein acts as an oncogene with transcriptional reprogramming activity that inappropriately activates male germ cell genes.
Summary: GFI1 serves a dual function in hair cell maturation, by both promoting hair cell gene expression and repressing a neuronal-associated transcriptional profile that is expressed during early development.
Summary: Xenopus Pinhead is a secreted cystine-knot protein that functions in a positive feedback loop with FGF to activate Erk signaling and induce mesoderm.
Effective range of non-cell autonomous activator and inhibitor peptides specifying plant stomatal patterning
Highlighted Article: Non-cell autonomous effects of activator and inhibitor peptides on 2D spatial patterning of stomata were quantitatively characterized using chimeric sectors and a SPACE computational pipeline.
Summary: Erk/MAPK signaling plays a crucial role during intestinal development through modulation of the Wnt signaling pathway by both cell-autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms.
TECHNIQUES AND RESOURCES
Summary: We leverage the sea urchin embryo for its rich history of developmental transitions, its well-established gene regulatory network and the ability to readily dissociate embryos into single cells to interrogate the embryo by single-cell RNA sequencing.