cortical tension
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Qilin Yu ◽  
William R. Holmes ◽  
Jean P. Thiery ◽  
Rodney B. Luwor ◽  
Vijay Rajagopal

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (12) ◽  
pp. e0260593
Darwesh Mohideen Kaderbatcha Aladin ◽  
Yeh Shiu Chu ◽  
Shuo Shen ◽  
Robert Charles Robinson ◽  
Sylvie Dufour ◽  

Cadherins control intercellular adhesion in most metazoans. In vertebrates, intercellular adhesion differs considerably between cadherins of type-I and type-II, predominantly due to their different extracellular regions. Yet, intercellular adhesion critically depends on actomyosin contractility, in which the role of the cadherin extracellular region is unclear. Here, we dissect the roles of the Extracellular Cadherin (EC) Ig-like domains by expressing chimeric E-cadherin with E-cadherin and cadherin-7 Ig-like domains in cells naturally devoid of cadherins. Using cell-cell separation, cortical tension measurement, tissue stretching and migration assays, we show that distinct EC repeats in the extracellular region of cadherins differentially modulate epithelial sheet integrity, cell-cell separation forces, and cell cortical tension with the Cdc42 pathway, which further differentially regulate epithelial tensile strength, ductility, and ultimately collective migration. Interestingly, dissipative processes rather than static adhesion energy mostly dominate cell-cell separation forces. We provide a framework for the emergence of epithelial phenotypes from cell mechanical properties dependent on EC outside-in signaling.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Kei Yamamoto ◽  
Haruko Miura ◽  
Motohiko Ishida ◽  
Yusuke Mii ◽  
Noriyuki Kinoshita ◽  

AbstractActomyosin contractility generated cooperatively by nonmuscle myosin II and actin filaments plays essential roles in a wide range of biological processes, such as cell motility, cytokinesis, and tissue morphogenesis. However, subcellular dynamics of actomyosin contractility underlying such processes remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate an optogenetic method to induce relaxation of actomyosin contractility at the subcellular level. The system, named OptoMYPT, combines a protein phosphatase 1c (PP1c)-binding domain of MYPT1 with an optogenetic dimerizer, so that it allows light-dependent recruitment of endogenous PP1c to the plasma membrane. Blue-light illumination is sufficient to induce dephosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chains and a decrease in actomyosin contractile force in mammalian cells and Xenopus embryos. The OptoMYPT system is further employed to understand the mechanics of actomyosin-based cortical tension and contractile ring tension during cytokinesis. We find that the relaxation of cortical tension at both poles by OptoMYPT accelerated the furrow ingression rate, revealing that the cortical tension substantially antagonizes constriction of the cleavage furrow. Based on these results, the OptoMYPT system provides opportunities to understand cellular and tissue mechanics.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Wanda Strychalski

Blebbing occurs in cells under high cortical tension when the membrane locally detaches from the actin cortex, resulting in pressure-driven flow of the cytosol and membrane expansion. Some cells use blebs as leading edge protrusions during cell migration, particularly in 3D environments such as a collagen matrix. Blebs can be initiated through either a localized loss of membrane-cortex adhesion or ablation of the cortex in a region. Bleb morphologies resulting from different initiation mechanisms have not been studied in detail, either experimentally or with theoretical models. Additionally, material properties of the cytoplasm, such as elasticity, have been shown to be important for limiting bleb size. A 3D dynamic computational model of the cell is presented that includes mechanics and the interactions of the cytoplasm, the actin cortex, the cell membrane, and the cytoskeleton. The model is used to quantify bleb expansion dynamics and shapes that result from simulations using different initiation mechanisms. The cytoplasm is modeled as a both viscous fluid and as a poroelastic material. Results from model simulations with a viscous fluid cytoplasm model show much broader blebs that expand faster when they are initiated via cortical ablation than when they are initiated by removing only membrane-cortex adhesion. Simulation results using the poroelastic model of the cytoplasm provide qualitatively similar bleb morphologies regardless of the initiation mechanism. Parameter studies on bleb expansion time, cytoplasmic stiffness, and permeability reveal different scaling properties, namely a smaller power-law exponent, in 3D simulations compared to 2D ones.

2021 ◽  
Ivie Aifuwa ◽  
Jude M Phillip ◽  
Byoung Kim ◽  
Teresa Luperchio ◽  
Angela Jimenez ◽  

The presence of senescent cells within tissues has been functionally linked to malignant transformations. Here, using tension-gauge tethers technology, particle-tracking microrheology, and quantitative microscopy, we demonstrate that senescent associated secretory phenotype (SASP) derived from senescent fibroblasts impose nuclear lobulations and volume shrinkage on malignant cells, which stems from the loss of RhoA/ROCK/myosin II-based cortical tension. This loss in cytoskeletal tension induces decreased cellular contractility, adhesion, and increased mechanical compliance. These SASP-induced morphological changes are in part mediated by lamin A/C. These findings suggest that SASP induces a defective outside-in mechanotransduction, from actomyosin fibers in the cytoplasm to the nuclear lamina, thereby triggering a cascade of biophysical and biomolecular changes in cells that associate with malignant transformations.

2021 ◽  
Eva Kreysing ◽  
Jeffrey Mc Hugh ◽  
Sarah K. Foster ◽  
Kurt Andresen ◽  
Ryan D. Greenhalgh ◽  

Most animal cells are surrounded by a cell membrane and an underlying actomyosin cortex. Both structures are linked with each other, and they are under tension. Membrane tension and cortical tension both influence many cellular processes, including cell migration, division, and endocytosis. However, while actomyosin tension is regulated by substrate stiffness, how membrane tension responds to mechanical substrate properties is currently poorly understood. Here, we probed the effective membrane tension of neurons and fibroblasts cultured on glass and polyacrylamide substrates of varying stiffness using optical tweezers. In contrast to actomyosin-based traction forces, both peak forces and steady state tether forces of cells cultured on hydrogels were independent of substrate stiffness and did not change after blocking myosin II activity using blebbistatin, indicating that tether and traction forces are not directly linked with each other. Peak forces on hydrogels were about twice as high in fibroblasts if compared to neurons, indicating stronger membrane-cortex adhesion in fibroblasts. Finally, tether forces were generally higher in cells cultured on hydrogels compared to cells cultured on glass, which we attribute to substrate-dependent alterations of the actomyosin cortex and an inverse relationship between tension along stress fibres and cortical tension. Our results provide new insights into the complex regulation of membrane tension, and they pave the way for a deeper understanding of biological processes instructed by it.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Binh An Truong Quang ◽  
Ruby Peters ◽  
Davide A. D. Cassani ◽  
Priyamvada Chugh ◽  
Andrew G. Clark ◽  

AbstractIn animal cells, shape is mostly determined by the actomyosin cortex, a thin cytoskeletal network underlying the plasma membrane. Myosin motors generate tension in the cortex, and tension gradients result in cellular deformations. As such, many cell morphogenesis studies have focused on the mechanisms controlling myosin activity and recruitment to the cortex. Here, we demonstrate using super-resolution microscopy that myosin does not always overlap with actin at the cortex, but remains restricted towards the cytoplasm in cells with low cortex tension. We propose that this restricted penetration results from steric hindrance, as myosin minifilaments are considerably larger than the cortical actin meshsize. We identify myosin activity and actin network architecture as key regulators of myosin penetration into the cortex, and show that increasing myosin penetration increases cortical tension. Our study reveals that the spatial coordination of myosin and actin at the cortex regulates cell surface mechanics, and unveils an important mechanism whereby myosin size controls its action by limiting minifilament penetration into the cortical actin network. More generally, our findings suggest that protein size could regulate function in dense cytoskeletal structures.

David G. Wilkinson

The segregation of distinct cell populations to form sharp boundaries is crucial for stabilising tissue organisation, for example during hindbrain segmentation in craniofacial development. Two types of mechanisms have been found to underlie cell segregation: differential adhesion mediated by cadherins, and Eph receptor and ephrin signalling at the heterotypic interface which regulates cell adhesion, cortical tension and repulsion. An interplay occurs between these mechanisms since cadherins have been found to contribute to Eph-ephrin-mediated cell segregation. This may reflect that Eph receptor activation acts through multiple pathways to decrease cadherin-mediated adhesion which can drive cell segregation. However, Eph receptors mainly drive cell segregation through increased heterotypic tension or repulsion. Cadherins contribute to cell segregation by antagonising homotypic tension within each cell population. This suppression of homotypic tension increases the difference with heterotypic tension triggered by Eph receptor activation, and it is this differential tension that drives cell segregation and border sharpening.

Francesca Caroti ◽  
Wim Thiels ◽  
Michiel Vanslambrouck ◽  
Rob Jelier

During asymmetrical division of the endomesodermal precursor cell EMS, a cortical flow arises, and the daughter cells, endodermal precursor E and mesodermal precursor MS, have an enduring difference in the levels of F-actin and non-muscular myosin. Ablation of the cell cortex suggests that these observed differences lead to differences in cortical tension. The higher F-actin and myosin levels in the MS daughter coincide with cell shape changes and relatively lower tension, indicating a soft, actively moving cell, whereas the lower signal in the E daughter cell is associated with higher tension and a more rigid, spherical shape. The cortical flow is under control of the Wnt signaling pathway. Perturbing the pathway removes the asymmetry arising during EMS division and induces subtle defects in the cellular movements at the eight-cell stage. The perturbed cellular movement appears to be associated with an asymmetric distribution of E-cadherin across the EMS cytokinesis groove. ABpl forms a lamellipodium which preferentially adheres to MS by the E-cadherin HMR-1. The HMR-1 asymmetry across the groove is complete just at the moment cytokinesis completes. Perturbing Wnt signaling equalizes the HMR-1 distribution across the lamellipodium. We conclude that Wnt signaling induces a cortical flow during EMS division, which results in a transition in the cortical contractile network for the daughter cells, as well as an asymmetric distribution of E-cadherin.

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