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Evolution of mechanisms controlling epithelial morphogenesis across animals: new insights from dissociation-reaggregation experiments in the sponge Oscarella lobularis

Abstract : Abstract Background The ancestral presence of epithelia in Metazoa is no longer debated. Porifera seem to be one of the best candidates to be the sister group to all other Metazoa. This makes them a key taxon to explore cell-adhesion evolution on animals. For this reason, several transcriptomic, genomic, histological, physiological and biochemical studies focused on sponge epithelia. Nevertheless, the complete and precise protein composition of cell–cell junctions and mechanisms that regulate epithelial morphogenetic processes still remain at the center of attention. Results To get insights into the early evolution of epithelial morphogenesis, we focused on morphogenic characteristics of the homoscleromorph sponge Oscarella lobularis. Homoscleromorpha are a sponge class with a typical basement membrane and adhaerens-like junctions unknown in other sponge classes. We took advantage of the dynamic context provided by cell dissociation-reaggregation experiments to explore morphogenetic processes in epithelial cells in a non-bilaterian lineage by combining fluorescent and electron microscopy observations and RNA sequencing approaches at key time-points of the dissociation and reaggregation processes. Conclusions Our results show that part of the molecular toolkit involved in the loss and restoration of epithelial features such as cell–cell and cell–matrix adhesion is conserved between Homoscleromorpha and Bilateria, suggesting their common role in the last common ancestor of animals. In addition, sponge-specific genes are differently expressed during the dissociation and reaggregation processes, calling for future functional characterization of these genes.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03401672
Contributor : Stéphane Greff Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, October 25, 2021 - 2:15:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 26, 2021 - 3:08:03 PM

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Amélie Vernale, Maria Mandela Prünster, Fabio Marchianò, Henry Debost, Nicolas Brouilly, et al.. Evolution of mechanisms controlling epithelial morphogenesis across animals: new insights from dissociation-reaggregation experiments in the sponge Oscarella lobularis. BMC Ecology and Evolution, BMC, 2021, 21 (1), pp.160. ⟨10.1186/s12862-021-01866-x⟩. ⟨hal-03401672⟩

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