• [9] Morphogenesis also involves changes in the cellular structure[10] or how cells interact in tissues.

  • [12][13] Cell-to-cell adhesion[edit] During embryonic development, cells are restricted to different layers due to differential affinities.

  • For example, during gastrulation, clumps of stem cells switch off their cell-to-cell adhesion, become migratory, and take up new positions within an embryo where they again
    activate specific cell adhesion proteins and form new tissues and organs.

  • Furthermore, cells can sort based upon differences in adhesion between the cells, so even two populations of cells with different levels of the same adhesion molecule can
    sort out.

  • One of the ways this can occur is when cells share the same cell-to-cell adhesion molecules.

  • Morphogenesis is a mechanical process involving forces that generate mechanical stress, strain, and movement of cells,[1] and can be induced by genetic programs according
    to the spatial patterning of cells within tissues.

  • At the end of this cascade are classes of molecules that control cellular behaviors such as cell migration, or, more generally, their properties, such as cell adhesion or
    cell contractility.

  • Cell “sorting out” consists of cells moving so as to sort into clusters that maximize contact between cells of the same type.

  • For instance, homotypic cell adhesion can maintain boundaries between groups of cells that have different adhesion molecules.

  • These then trigger traveling embryonic differentiation waves of contraction or expansion over presumptive tissues that determine cell type and is followed by cell differentiation.

  • Morphogenesis (from the Greek morphê shape and genesis creation, literally “the generation of form”) is the biological process that causes a cell, tissue or organism to develop
    its shape.

  • Moreover, cell-cell adhesion is often modulated by cell contractility, which can exert forces on the cell-cell contacts so that two cell populations with equal levels of the
    same adhesion molecule can sort out.

  • It is one of three fundamental aspects of developmental biology along with the control of tissue growth and patterning of cellular differentiation.

  • Tissue separation can also occur via more dramatic cellular differentiation events during which epithelial cells become mesenchymal (see Epithelial–mesenchymal transition).

  • In cell culture cells that have the strongest adhesion move to the center of a mixed aggregates of cells.

  • Morphogenesis can take place also in a mature organism, such as in the normal maintenance of tissue by stem cells or in regeneration of tissues after damage.

  • The process controls the organized spatial distribution of cells during the embryonic development of an organism.

  • Several types of cell adhesion molecules are known and one major class of these molecules are cadherins.

  • A model called the cell state splitter involves alternating cell contraction and expansion, initiated by a bistable organelle at the apical end of each cell.

  • Just as in muscle cells, myosin can contract different parts of the cytoplasm to change its shape or structure.

  • An important class of molecules involved in morphogenesis are transcription factor proteins that determine the fate of cells by interacting with DNA.


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