Migrasomes provide regional cues for organ morphogenesis during zebrafish gastrulation

Nat Cell Biol. 2019 Aug;21(8):966-977. doi: 10.1038/s41556-019-0358-6. Epub 2019 Aug 1.


Migrasomes are recently identified vesicular organelles that form on retraction fibres behind migrating cells. Whether migrasomes are present in vivo and, if so, the function of migrasomes in living organisms is unknown. Here, we show that migrasomes are formed during zebrafish gastrulation and signalling molecules, such as chemokines, are enriched in migrasomes. We further demonstrate that Tspan4 and Tspan7 are required for migrasome formation. Organ morphogenesis is impaired in zebrafish MZtspan4a and MZtspan7 mutants. Mechanistically, migrasomes are enriched on a cavity underneath the embryonic shield where they serve as chemoattractants to ensure the correct positioning of dorsal forerunner cells vegetally next to the embryonic shield, thereby affecting organ morphogenesis. Our study shows that migrasomes are signalling organelles that provide specific biochemical information to coordinate organ morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Gastrulation / physiology
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Organelles / genetics
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics*


  • Zebrafish Proteins