Hava, D., Forster, U., Matsuda, M., Cui, S., Link, B.A., Eichhorst, J., Wiesner, B., Chitnis, A., and Abdelilah-Seyfried, S. (2009) Apical membrane maturation and cellular rosette formation during morphogenesis of the zebrafish lateral line. Journal of Cell Science. 122(Pt 5):687-695.
Tissue morphogenesis and cell sorting are major forces during organ development. Here, we characterize the process of tissue morphogenesis within the zebrafish lateral line primordium, a migratory sheet of cells that gives rise to the neuromasts of the posterior lateral line organ. We find that cells within this epithelial tissue constrict actin-rich membranes and enrich apical junction proteins at apical focal points. The coordinated apical membrane constriction in single Delta D-positive hair cell progenitors and in their neighbouring prospective support cells generates cellular rosettes. Live imaging reveals that cellular rosettes subsequently separate from each other and give rise to individual neuromasts. Genetic analysis uncovers an involvement of Lethal giant larvae proteins in the maturation of apical junction belts during cellular rosette formation. Our findings suggest that apical constriction of cell membranes spatially confines regions of strong cell-cell adhesion and restricts the number of tightly interconnected cells into cellular rosettes, which ensures the correct deposition of neuromasts during morphogenesis of the posterior lateral line organ.