Tissue Morphogenesis and Repair


António Jacinto

Principal Investigator



Campus Sant'Ana
Pólo de Investigação, NMS, UNL
Rua do Instituto Bacteriológico, nº 5
1150-082 Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: (+351) 218 803 101
E-mail: antonio.jacinto(at)nms.unl.pt

Main interests

Our group studies molecular and cellular processes that regulate tissue morphogenesis and repair. We are mainly focused on a simple model of epithelial resealing using Drosophila embryos and in natural occurring morphogenetic movements, such as dorsal closure, that has striking similarities to wound repair. We are also studying the mechanisms that regulate the recruitment of macrophage-like blood cells to wound sites to clear damaged tissue. More recently, we have started studying tissue regeneration and repair in a vertebrate model system, the zebrafish.

Research Areas

- Molecular and Cell Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Drosophila genetics
- Tissue Repair and Regeneration



- 2013/2015: Tissue growth regulation during zebrafish regeneration (PTDC/BEX-BID/1176/2012), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)

- 2009/2013: Epithelial Resealing (ERC-2007-StG-208631-RESEAL), European Research Council (ERC-2007-StG-208631-RESEAL).

- 2010/2013: Genetics of Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and Palate (NSCLP) (PTDC/SAU-GMG/101537/2008), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).

- 2010/2013: The role of reinnervation in tissue regeneration (PTDC/SAU-OBD/100200/2008), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).

- 2009/2012: Microarray analysis of transcription during nerve-dependent fin regeneration in zebrafish (GAPIC-2011013), Gabinete de Apoio à Investigação Científica e Tecnológica.

Imagem 3 PB

Selected publications

ZF wounding

  • Ravasio A, Cheddadi I, Chen T, Pereira T, Ong HT, Bertocchi C, Brugues A, Jacinto 3, Kabla AJ, Toyama Y, Trepat X, Gov N, Neves de Almeida L, Ladoux B. Gap geometry dictates epithelial closure efficiency. Nat Commun. 2015. 6:7683. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8683.
  • Monteiro J, Aires R, Becker JD, Jacinto A, Certal AC, Rodríguez-León J.V-ATPase proton pumping activity is required for adult zebrafish appendage regeneration. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 26;9(3):e92594. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092594.
  • Regan JC, Brandão AS, Leitão AB, Mantas Dias AR, Sucena E, Jacinto A, Zaidman-Rémy A. Steroid hormone signaling is essential to regulate innate immune cells and fight bacterial infection in Drosophila. PLoS Pathog. 2013 Oct;9(10):e1003720. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003720.
  • Moreira CG, Jacinto A, Prag S. Drosophila integrin adhesion complexes are essential for hemocyte migration in vivo. Biol Open. 2013 Jun 6;2(8):795-801.
  • Antunes M, Pereira T, Cordeiro JV, Almeida L, Jacinto A. Coordinated waves of actomyosin flow and apical cell constriction immediately after wounding. J Cell Biol. 2013 Jul 22;202(2):365-79.
  • Teixeira N, Varahan S, Gorman MJ, Palmer KL, Zaidman-Remy A, Yokohata R, Nakayama J, Hancock LE, Jacinto A, Gilmore MS, de Fátima Silva Lopes M. Drosophila host model reveals new enterococcus faecalis quorum-sensing associated virulence factors. PLoS One. 2013 May 29;8(5):e64740.
  • Cordeiro JV, Jacinto A. The role of transcription-independent damage signals in the initiation of epithelial wound healing. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Apr;14(4):249-62. Review.
  • Henriques CM, Carneiro MC, Tenente IM, Jacinto A, Ferreira MG. Telomerase is required for zebrafish lifespan. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(1):e1003214.
  • Azevedo AS, Sousa S, Jacinto A, Saúde L. An amputation resets positional information to a proximal identity in the regenerating zebrafish caudal fin. BMC Dev Biol. 2012 Aug 25;12:24. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-12-24.
  • Mateus R, Pereira T, Sousa S, de Lima JE, Pascoal S, Saúde L, Jacinto A. In vivo cell and tissue dynamics underlying zebrafish fin fold regeneration. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51766. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051766.
  • Sousa S, Valerio F, Jacinto A. A new zebrafish bone crush injury model. Biol Open. 2012 Sep 15;1(9):915-21. doi:10.1242/bio.2012877.
      • Moreira CG, Regan JC, Zaidman-Rémy A, Jacinto A, Prag S. Drosophila hemocyte migration: an in vivo assay for directional cell migration. Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 769:249-60.
      • Azevedo D, Antunes M, Prag S, Ma X, Hacker U, Brodland GW, Hutson MS, Solon J, Jacinto A. DRhoGEF2 regulates cellular tension and cell pulsations in the Amnioserosa during Drosophila dorsal closure. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e23964. Epub 2011 Sep 16.
      • Zaidman-Rémy A, Regan JC, Brandão AS, Jacinto A. The Drosophila larva as a tool to study gutassociated macrophages: PI3K regulates a discrete hemocyte population at the proventriculus. Dev Comp Immunol. Nov 4, 2011.
      • Geiger JA, Carvalho L, Campos I, Santos AC, Jacinto A. Hole-in-One Mutant Phenotypes Link EGFR/ERK Signaling to Epithelial Tissue Repair in Drosophila. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e28349. Epub 2011 Nov 29.
      • Campos, I., Geiger, J.A., Santos, A.C., Carlos, V., Jacinto, A. (2009) Genetic Screen in Drosophila melanogaster Uncovers a Novel Set of Genes Required for Embryonic Epithelial Repair. Genetics. 2009 Nov 2.
      • Garcia-Fernandez B, Campos I, Geiger J, Santos AC, Jacinto A. (2009). Epithelial resealing. Int J Dev Biol. 53(8-10):1549-56.
      • Garcia-Fernandez, B., Martinez-Arias, A., and Jacinto, A. (2007). Dpp signalling orchestrates dorsal closure by regulating cell shape changes both in the amnioserosa and in the epidermis. Mech Dev, 124, 884-897.
      • Wood W, Jacinto A (2007). Drosophila melanogaster embryonic haemocytes: masters of multitasking. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 8: 542-551.
      • Simoes, S., Denholm, B., Azevedo, D., Sotillos, S., Martin, P., Skaer, H., Castelli-Gair Hombria, J. and Jacinto, A. (2006). Compartmentalization of Rho regulators directs cell invagination during tissue morphogenesis. Development 133, 4257-4267.
      • Lovegrove, B., Simoes, S., Rivas, M. L., Sotillos, S., Johnson, K., Knust, E., Jacinto, A. and Castelli-Gair Hombria J. (2006). Co-ordinated control of cell adhesion, cell polarity and cytoskeleton underlies Hox induced organogenesis in Drosophila. Curr Biol 16, 2206-2216.
      • Köppen, M., García-Fernández, B., Carvalho, L., Jacinto, A. and Heisenberg, C-P. (2006). Coordinated cell shape changes control epithelial movement in zebrafish and Drosophila. Development 133, 2671-2681.
      • Wood, W., Faria, C. and Jacinto A. (2006) Distinct mechanisms regulate hemocyte chemotaxis during development and wound healing in Drosophila. J. Cell Biol 174, 405-416.
      • Woolner, S., Jacinto, A. and Paul Martin, P. (2005) The small GTPase Rac plays multiple roles in epithelial sheet fusion—Dynamic studies of Drosophila dorsal closure. Dev Biol 282, 163-173.
      • Moita, C., Simoes, S., Moita, L.F., Jacinto, A. and Fernandes, P. (2005). The cadherin superfamily in Anopheles gambiae: a comparative study with Drosophila Melanogaster. Comparative and Functional Genomics 6, 204-216.
      • Stramer, B., Wood, W., Galko, M.J., Redd, M., Jacinto, A., Parkhurst, S.M., and Martin, P. (2005). Live imaging of wound inflammation in Drosophila embryos reveals key roles for small GTPases during in vivo cell migration. J. Cell Biol 168, 567-573.
      • Jacinto, A. and Baum, B. (2003). Actin in Development. Mech Dev 120, 1337-1349.


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- Prof. Luís Neves de Almeida, Institute of Signaling, Developmental Biology and Cancer, UMR 6543-CNRS, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Parc Valrose, France.

- Prof. Paul Martin (Department of Physiology, University of Bristol, UK). Genetic screen to identify the molecular basis of epithelial adhesion and cell matching during Drosophila dorsal closure.

- Dr. Alfonso Martinez Arias (Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK). Planar polarity and actin dynamics in the embryonic epidermis of Drosophila. Crosstalk between the Dpp, JNK and Wg signalling pathways during dorsal closure.

- Dr. Carl Phillip Heisenberg (Max Planck institute for Molecular Cell biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany). Function of the gene misshapen (Ste20 kinase) during Drosophila dorsal closure.

- Dr. Benjamin Baum (Ludwig Institute, University College London, UK). Actin dynamics and cell shape changes in Drosophila epithelial morphogenesis. Cells into Organs. Network of Excellence funded by the EU in the context of the Framework Programme 6 (23 research groups).

- Dr. Will Wood (University of Bath, UK). Hemocyte migration in Drosophila.Dr. James Castelli-Gair Hombria (Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo, Seville, Spain).

- Dr. Shane Hutson (Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Vanderbilt University - Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystem Research & Education, USA) and Prof. Wayne Brodland (Dept. of Civil Engineering and Dept. of Biology, University of Waterloo, Canada).

Team photos