LGN-dependent orientation of cell divisions in the dermomyotome controls lineage segregation into muscle and dermis

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The plane of cell divisions is pivotal for differential fate acquisition. Dermomyotome development provides an excellent system with which to investigate the link between these processes. In the central sheet of the early dermomyotome, single epithelial cells divide with a planar orientation. Here, we report that in the avian embryo, in addition to self-renewing, a subset of progenitors translocates into the myotome where they generate differentiated myocytes. By contrast, in the late epithelium, individual progenitors divide perpendicularly to produce both mitotic myoblasts and dermis. To examine whether spindle orientations influence fate segregation, early planar divisions were randomized and/or shifted to a perpendicular orientation by interfering with LGN function or by overexpressing inscuteable. Clones derived from single transfected cells exhibited an enhanced proportion of mixed dermomyotome/myotome progeny at the expense of 'like' daughter cells in either domain. Loss of LGN or Gαi1 function in the late epithelium randomized otherwise perpendicular mitoses and favored muscle development at the expense of dermis. Hence, LGN-dependent early planar divisions are required for the proper allocation of progenitors into either dermomyotome or myotome, whereas late perpendicular divisions are necessary for the normal balance between muscle and dermis production.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4155-4166
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Apicobasal polarity
  • Avian embryo
  • Chick
  • Dermis
  • Desmin
  • Epithelium
  • Lineage segregation
  • Myotome
  • Quail
  • Somite
  • ZO-1
  • aPKC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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