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Cadherin adhesion, tissue tension, and noncanonical Wnt signaling regulate fibronectin matrix organization.

ABSTRACT

In this study we demonstrate that planar cell polarity signaling regulates morphogenesis in Xenopus embryos in part through the assembly of the fibronectin (FN) matrix. We outline a regulatory pathway that includes cadherin adhesion and signaling through Rac and Pak, culminating in actin reorganization, myosin contractility, and tissue tension, which, in turn, directs the correct spatiotemporal localization of FN into a fibrillar matrix. Increased mechanical tension promotes FN fibril assembly in the blastocoel roof (BCR), while reduced BCR tension inhibits matrix assembly. These data support a model for matrix assembly in tissues where cell-cell adhesions play an analogous role to the focal adhesions of cultured cells by transferring to integrins the tension required to direct FN fibril formation at cell surfaces.