Proximate larval epidermal cell layer generates forces for Pupal thorax closure in Drosophila

Thamarailingam Athilingam, Saurabh S. Parihar, Rachita Bhattacharya, Mohd S. Rizvi, Amit Kumar, Pradip Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During tissue closures, such as embryonic dorsal closure in Drosophila melanogaster, a proximate extra-embryonic layer, amnioserosa, generates forces that drive migration of the flanking lateral embryonic epidermis, thereby zip-shutting the embryo. Arguably, this paradigm of tissue closure is also recapitulated in mammalian wound healing wherein proximate fibroblasts transform into contractile myofibroblasts, develop cell junctions, and form a tissue layer de novo: contraction of the latter then aids in wound closure. Given this parallelism between disparate exemplars, we posit a general principle of tissue closure via proximate cell layer-generated forces. Here, we have tested this hypothesis in pupal thorax closure wherein 2 halves of the presumptive adult thorax of Drosophila, the contralateral heminotal epithelia, migrate over an underlying larval epidermal cell layer. We show that the proximate larval epidermal cell layer promotes thorax closure by its active contraction, orchestrated by its elaborate actomyosin network-driven epithelial cell dynamics, cell delamination, and death - the latter being prefigured by the activation of caspases. Larval epidermal cell dynamics generate contraction forces, which when relayed to the flanking heminota - via their mutual integrin-based adhesions - mediate thorax closure. Compromising any of these contraction force-generating mechanisms in the larval epidermal cell layer slows down heminotal migration, while loss of its relay to the flanking heminota abrogates the thorax closure altogether. Mathematical modeling further reconciles the biophysical underpinning of this emergent mechanism of thorax closure. Revealing mechanism of thorax closure apart, these findings show conservation of an essential principle of a proximate cell layer-driven tissue closure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberiyac030
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Drosophila
  • larval epidermis
  • thorax closure
  • wound closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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