Is a persistent global bias necessary for the establishment of planar cell polarity?
Fischer, Sabine and Houston, Paul and Monk, Nick A.M. and Owen, Markus R. (2013) Is a persistent global bias necessary for the establishment of planar cell polarity? PLoS ONE, 8 (4). e60064. ISSN 1932-6203
Planar cell polarity (PCP) — the coordinated polarisation of a whole field of cells within the plane of a tissue — relies on the interaction of three modules: a global module that couples individual cellular polarity to the tissue axis, a local module that aligns the axis of polarisation of neighbouring cells, and a readout module that directs the correct outgrowth of PCP-regulated structures such as hairs and bristles. While much is known about the molecular components that are required for PCP, the functional details of—and interactions between—the modules remain unclear. In this work, we perform a mathematical and computational analysis of two previously proposed computational models of the local module (Amonlirdviman et al., Science, 307, 2005; Le Garrec et al., Dev. Dyn., 235, 2006). Both models can reproduce wild-type and mutant phenotypes of PCP observed in the Drosophila wing under the assumption that a tissue-wide polarity cue from the global module persists throughout the development of PCP. We demonstrate that both models can also generate tissue-level PCP when provided with only a transient initial polarity cue. However, in these models such transient cues are not sufficient to ensure robustness of the resulting cellular polarisation.
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