Kozlovskaja-Gumbrienė, A., Yi, R., Alexander, R., Aman, A., Jiskra, R., Nagelberg, D., Knaut, H., McClain, M., Piotrowski, T. (2017) Proliferation-independent regulation of organ size by Fgf/Notch signaling. eLIFE. 6.
Organ morphogenesis depends on the precise orchestration of cell migration, cell shape changes and cell adhesion. We demonstrate that Notch signaling is an integral part of the Wnt and Fgf signaling feedback loop coordinating cell migration and the self-organization of rosette-shaped sensory organs in the zebrafish lateral line system. We show that Notch signaling acts downstream of Fgf signaling to not only inhibit hair cell differentiation but also to induce and maintain stable epithelial rosettes. Ectopic Notch expression causes a significant increase in organ size independently of proliferation and the Hippo pathway. Transplantation and RNASeq analyses revealed that Notch signaling induces apical junctional complex genes that regulate cell adhesion and apical constriction. Our analysis also demonstrates that in the absence of patterning cues normally provided by a Wnt/Fgf signaling system, rosettes still self-organize in the presence of Notch signaling.