Dissecting Regional Variations in Stress Fiber Mechanics in Living Cells with Laser Nanosurgery

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The ability of a cell to distribute contractile stresses across the extracellular matrix in a spatially heterogeneous fashion underlies many cellular behaviors, including motility and tissue assembly. Here we investigate the biophysical basis of this phenomenon by using femtosecond laser nanosurgery to measure the viscoelastic recoil and cell-shape contributions of contractile stress fibers (SFs) located in specific compartments of living cells. Upon photodisruption and recoil, myosin light chain kinase-dependent SFs located along the cell periphery display much lower effective elasticities and higher plateau retraction distances than Rho-associated kinase-dependent SFs located in the cell center, with severing of peripheral fibers uniquely ... continued below

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Tanner, Kandice; Boudreau, Aaron; Bissell, Mina J & Kumar, Sanjay March 2, 2010.

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The ability of a cell to distribute contractile stresses across the extracellular matrix in a spatially heterogeneous fashion underlies many cellular behaviors, including motility and tissue assembly. Here we investigate the biophysical basis of this phenomenon by using femtosecond laser nanosurgery to measure the viscoelastic recoil and cell-shape contributions of contractile stress fibers (SFs) located in specific compartments of living cells. Upon photodisruption and recoil, myosin light chain kinase-dependent SFs located along the cell periphery display much lower effective elasticities and higher plateau retraction distances than Rho-associated kinase-dependent SFs located in the cell center, with severing of peripheral fibers uniquely triggering a dramatic contraction of the entire cell within minutes of fiber irradiation. Image correlation spectroscopy reveals that when one population of SFs is pharmacologically dissipated, actin density flows toward the other population. Furthermore, dissipation of peripheral fibers reduces the elasticity and increases the plateau retraction distance of central fibers, and severing central fibers under these conditions triggers cellular contraction. Together, these findings show that SFs regulated by different myosin activators exhibit different mechanical properties and cell shape contributions. They also suggest that some fibers can absorb components and assume mechanical roles of other fibers to stabilize cell shape.

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  • Journal Name: Biophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 99; Journal Issue: 9; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: Nov. 3, 2010

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  • Report No.: LBNL-4368E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Grant Number: 1U54CA143836, R37CA064786, U54CA126552, R01CA057621, U54CA112970, U01CA143233, U54CA143836
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.08.071 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1009839
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831456

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 2, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 15, 2016, 7:04 p.m.

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Tanner, Kandice; Boudreau, Aaron; Bissell, Mina J & Kumar, Sanjay. Dissecting Regional Variations in Stress Fiber Mechanics in Living Cells with Laser Nanosurgery, article, March 2, 2010; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831456/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.