Planar cell polarity (PCP) is the aligned cell polarity within a tissue plane. Mechanical signals are known to act as a global cue for PCP, yet their exact role is still unclear. In this study, we focused on PCP in the posterior neuroectoderm of Xenopus laevis and investigated how mechanical signals regulate polarity. We reveal that the neuroectoderm is under a greater tension in the anterior-posterior direction and that perturbation of this tension causes PCP disappearance. We show that application of uniaxial stretch to explant tissues can control the orientation of PCP and that cells sense the tissue stretch indirectly through a change in their shape, rather than directly through detection of anisotropic tension. Furthermore, we reveal that PCP is most strongly established when the orientation of tissue stretch coincides with that of diffusion of locally expressed Wnt ligands, suggesting a cooperative relationship between these two PCP regulators.

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