p120ctn-Mediated Organ Patterning Precedes and Determines Pancreatic Progenitor Fate

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The mechanism of how organ shape emerges and specifies cell fate is not understood. Pancreatic duct and endocrine lineages arise in a spatially distinct domain from the acinar lineage. Whether these lineages are pre-determined or settle once these niches have been established remains unknown. Here, we reconcile these two apparently opposing models, demonstrating that pancreatic progenitors re-localize to establish the niche that will determine their ultimate fate. We identify a p120ctn-regulated mechanism for coordination of organ architecture and cellular fate mediated by differential E-cadherin based cell sorting. Reduced p120ctn expression is necessary and sufficient to re-localize a subset of progenitors to the peripheral tip domain, where they acquire an acinar fate. The same mechanism is used re-iteratively during endocrine specification, where it balances the choice between the alpha and beta cell fates. In conclusion, organ patterning is regulated by p120ctn-mediated cellular positioning, which precedes and determines pancreatic progenitor fate. Nyeng et al. use live imaging to demonstrate that differential p120-catenin expression segregates pancreatic progenitor cells into fate-determining niches by differential surface tension. While cells with low expression move to the periphery to become acinar cells, cells with high expression remain in the center to become duct and endocrine cells.


  • Pia Nyeng
  • Silja Heilmann
  • Zarah M. Löf-Öhlin
  • Nina Fransén Pettersson
  • Florian Malte Hermann
  • Albert B. Reynolds
  • Henrik Semb
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Cell- och molekylärbiologi


Sidor (från-till)31-47.e9
TidskriftDevelopmental Cell
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2019
Peer review utfördJa