Oteiza, P., Köppen, M., Krieg, M., Pulgar, E., Farias, C., Melo, C., Preibisch, S., Müller, D., Tada, M., Hartel, S., Heisenberg, C.P., and Concha, M.L. (2010) Planar cell polarity signalling regulates cell adhesion properties in progenitors of the zebrafish laterality organ. Development (Cambridge, England). 137(20):3459-3468.
Organ formation requires the precise assembly of progenitor cells into a functional multicellular structure. Mechanical forces probably participate in this process but how they influence organ morphogenesis is still unclear. Here, we show that Wnt11- and Prickle1a-mediated planar cell polarity (PCP) signalling coordinates the formation of the zebrafish ciliated laterality organ (Kupffer's vesicle) by regulating adhesion properties between organ progenitor cells (the dorsal forerunner cells, DFCs). Combined inhibition of Wnt11 and Prickle1a reduces DFC cell-cell adhesion and impairs their compaction and arrangement during vesicle lumen formation. This leads to the formation of a mis-shapen vesicle with small fragmented lumina and shortened cilia, resulting in severely impaired organ function and, as a consequence, randomised laterality of both molecular and visceral asymmetries. Our results reveal a novel role for PCP-dependent cell adhesion in coordinating the supracellular organisation of progenitor cells during vertebrate laterality organ formation.