Cell-Shape and

Carcinogenesis

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The epithelial cell shapes like squamous, cuboidal and columnar are functions of their gene activities leading to the cytoskeletal organization, membrane protein distribution and the overall balance of various cell-intrinsic and extrinsic forces. Cell shape is fine-tuned to match the functional needs of epithelial morphogenesis which, when perturbed, can affect development and might predispose the epithelium for a pathological condition such as cancer. Although it is clear that the regulation of epithelial morphogenesis is largely driven by cytoskeletal rearrangements, particularly microtubules, and changes in cell adhesion, little is known about the mechanism of remodelling. Here, by using stretched follicle cell (SFC) of the developing Drosophila oocyte and super-resolution microscopy, we aim to decipher the functional relevance and mechanism of intercellular trafficking of junctional proteins and visualise their dynamicity on microtubules during the course of follicle cell flattening. Further, we also aim at unravelling links between cell shape regulations, and tumorigenesis in these SFCs to build a novel model of squamous cell carcinomas in Drosophila.