Team 09: Epithelial Growth and Morphogenesis

We are interested in the functional interactions occurring between  proteins controlling cell shape (morphogenesis) and cell size (growth). Indeed, it is relatively obvious that tissue or organ development requires coordination of morphogenesis and growth. It is easy to study this coordination on epithelium because of the simple and stereotyped shape of epithelial cells. Thus, any size or shape defect can be easily detected and can be even quantified. Beside these basics questions, most of cancers arise from epithelial tissues and misregulation of the mechanisms controlling their growth and morphogenesis (and especially apical-basal polarity) are both involved in tumor development. It is therefore relevant for cancer biology to study interactions between these mechanisms, and, indeed, several of the genes that we study are tumor suppressors or oncogenes in human.



We use the follicular cells of the Drosophila ovary as a model of epithelium. On top of all the genetics tools and cell imaging possibilities available in fly,  the follicular epithelium owns a morphology highly reminiscent of  mammal epithelia and its growth is easily controllable by nutrient intake. Thus, it is an excellent model to address the questions regarding the coordination of growth and shape during development.


Our current projects are:

  1. study acquqition and maintenance of apical-basal polarity
  2. understand how cell shape regulates cell growth
  3. study how follicle elongates
  4. identify new genes involved in controlling size and/or shape of epithelial cells.

Research thematics


Last Name First Name Position Contact
Olivier BARDOT profile picture BARDOT Olivier Associate Professor
Lisa CALVARY profile picture CALVARY Lisa Ph.D Student
Cynthia DENNIS profile picture DENNIS Cynthia Post-doctoral Fellow
Corinne LOURS-CALET profile picture LOURS-CALET Corinne Associate Professor
Vincent MIROUSE profile picture MIROUSE Vincent Principal Investigator
Graziella RICHARD profile picture RICHARD Graziella Research Technician
Caroline VACHIAS profile picture VACHIAS Caroline Research Engineer


  • 2018
    • S. Elis, A. Desmarchais, E. Cardona, S. Fouchecourt, R. Dalbies-Tran, T. Nguyen, V. Thermes, V. Maillard, P. Papillier, S. Uzbekova, J. Bobe, J. Couderc and P. Monget, “Genes Involved in Drosophila melanogaster Ovarian Function Are Highly Conserved Throughout Evolution.”, Genome Biol Evol, vol. 10 (10) , pp. 2629–2642, 2018.
    • H. Alegot, P. Pouchin, O. Bardot and V. Mirouse, “Jak-Stat pathway induces Drosophila follicle elongation by a gradient of apical contractility.”, eLife, vol. 7 , 2018.
  • 2017
    • J. Couderc, G. Richard, C. Vachias and V. Mirouse, “Drosophila LKB1 is required for the assembly of the polarized actin structure that allows spermatid individualization.”, PLoS ONE, vol. 12 (8) , pp. e0182279, 2017.
  • 2015
    • I. Brigaud, J. Duteyrat, J. Chlasta, S. Le Bail, J. Couderc and M. Grammont, “Transforming Growth Factor beta/activin signalling induces epithelial cell flattening during Drosophila oogenesis.”, Biology open, vol. 4 (3) , pp. 345–54, 2015.
  • 2014
    • C. Vachias, C. Fritsch, P. Pouchin, O. Bardot and V. Mirouse, “Tight coordination of growth and differentiation between germline and soma provides robustness for drosophila egg development.”, Cell Rep, vol. 9 (2) , pp. 531–41, 2014.
    • C. Lours-Calet, L. Alvares, A. El-Hanfy, S. Gandesha, E. Walters, D. Sobreira, K. Wotton, E. Jorge, J. Lawson, A. Kelsey Lewis, M. Tada, C. Sharpe, G. Kardon and S. Dietrich, “Evolutionarily conserved morphogenetic movements at the vertebrate head-trunk interface coordinate the transport and assembly of hypopharyngeal structures.”, Dev. Biol. (NY), vol. 390 (2) , pp. 231–46, 2014.
    • G. Borrel, N. Parisot, H. Harris, E. Peyretaillade, N. Gaci, W. Tottey, O. Bardot, K. Raymann, S. Gribaldo, P. Peyret, P. O'Toole and J. Brugere, “Comparative genomics highlights the unique biology of Methanomassiliicoccales, a Thermoplasmatales-related seventh order of methanogenic archaea that encodes pyrrolysine.”, BMC genomics, vol. 15 , pp. 679, 2014.
  • 2013
    • B. Aigouy and V. Mirouse, “ScientiFig: a tool to build publication-ready scientific figures.”, Nat. Methods, vol. 10 (11) , pp. 1048, 2013.
    • A. Baanannou, L. Mojica-Vazquez, G. Darras, JL. Couderc, D. Cribbs, M. Boube and H. Bourbon, “Drosophila distal-less and Rotund bind a single enhancer ensuring reliable and robust bric-a-brac2 expression in distinct limb morphogenetic fields.”, PLoS Genet., vol. 9 (6) , pp. e1003581, 2013.
    • P. Bardet, B. Guirao, C. Paoletti, F. Serman, V. Leopold, F. Bosveld, Y. Goya, V. Mirouse, F. Graner and Y. Bellaiche, “PTEN controls junction lengthening and stability during cell rearrangement in epithelial tissue.”, Dev. Cell, vol. 25 (5) , pp. 534–46, 2013.
    • G. Borrel, H. Harris, N. Parisot, N. Gaci, W. Tottey, A. Mihajlovski, J. Deane, S. Gribaldo, O. Bardot, E. Peyretaillade, P. Peyret, P. O'Toole and J. Brugere, “Genome Sequence of "Candidatus Methanomassiliicoccus intestinalis" Issoire-Mx1, a Third Thermoplasmatales-Related Methanogenic Archaeon from Human Feces.”, Genome announcements, vol. 1 (4) , 2013.
  • 2012
    • C. Penalva and V. Mirouse, “Tissue-specific function of Patj in regulating the Crumbs complex and epithelial polarity.”, Development, vol. 139 (24) , pp. 4549–54, 2012.
    • Y. Renaud, A. Baillif, J. Perez, M. Agier, E. Mephu Nguifo and V. Mirouse, “DroPNet: a web portal for integrated analysis of Drosophila protein-protein interaction networks.”, Nucleic Acids Res., vol. 40 (Web Server issue) , pp. W134–9, 2012.
  • 2010
    • V. Mirouse and M. Billaud, “The LKB1/AMPK polarity pathway.”, FEBS Lett., vol. 585 (7) , pp. 981–5, 2010.
    • C. Vachias, JL. Couderc and M. Grammont, “A two-step Notch-dependant mechanism controls the selection of the polar cell pair in Drosophila oogenesis.”, Development, vol. 137 (16) , pp. 2703–11, 2010.
    • H. Doerflinger, N. Vogt, I. Torres, V. Mirouse, I. Koch, C. Nusslein-Volhard and D. St Johnston, “Bazooka is required for polarisation of the Drosophila anterior-posterior axis.”, Development, vol. 137 (10) , pp. 1765–73, 2010.
    • E. Morais-de-Sa, V. Mirouse and D. St Johnston, “aPKC phosphorylation of Bazooka defines the apical/lateral border in Drosophila epithelial cells.”, Cell, vol. 141 (3) , pp. 509–23, 2010.
  • 2009
    • V. Mirouse, C. Christoforou, C. Fritsch, D. St Johnston and R. Ray, “Dystroglycan and perlecan provide a basal cue required for epithelial polarity during energetic stress.”, Dev. Cell, vol. 16 (1) , pp. 83–92, 2009.
  • 2008
    • L. Alvares, C. Lours, A. El-Hanfy and S. Dietrich, “Microsurgical manipulation of the notochord.”, Meth. Mol. Biol., vol. 461 , pp. 289–303, 2008.