Topographic cell instructive patterns to control cell adhesion, polarization and migration.
ABSTRACT: Topographic patterns are known to affect cellular processes such as adhesion, migration and differentiation. However, the optimal way to deliver topographic signals to provide cells with precise instructions has not been defined yet. In this work, we hypothesize that topographic patterns may be able to control the sensing and adhesion machinery of cells when their interval features are tuned on the characteristic lengths of filopodial probing and focal adhesions (FAs). Features separated by distance beyond the length of filopodia cannot be readily perceived; therefore, the formation of new adhesions is discouraged. If, however, topographic features are separated by a distance within the reach of filopodia extension, cells can establish contact between adjacent topographic islands. In the latter case, cell adhesion and polarization rely upon the growth of FAs occurring on a specific length scale that depends on the chemical properties of the surface. Topographic patterns and chemical properties may interfere with the growth of FAs, thus making adhesions unstable. To test this hypothesis, we fabricated different micropatterned surfaces displaying feature dimensions and adhesive properties able to interfere with the filopodial sensing and the adhesion maturation, selectively. Our data demonstrate that it is possible to exert a potent control on cell adhesion, elongation and migration by tuning topographic features' dimensions and surface chemistry.
Project description:Filopodia are actin-dependent finger-like structures that protrude from the plasma membrane. Actin filament barbed-end-binding proteins localized to filopodial tips are key to filopodial assembly. Two classes of barbed-end-binding proteins are formins and Ena/VASP proteins, and both classes have been localized to filopodial tips in specific cellular contexts. Here, we examine the filopodial roles of the FMNL formins and Ena/VASP proteins in U2OS cells. FMNL3 suppression reduces filopodial assembly by 90%, and FMNL3 is enriched at >95% of filopodial tips. Suppression of VASP or Mena (also known as ENAH) reduces filopodial assembly by >75%. However, VASP and Mena do not display consistent filopodial tip localization, but are enriched in focal adhesions (FAs). Interestingly, >85% of FMNL3-containing filopodia are associated with FAs. Two situations increase Ena/VASP filopodial localization: (1) expression of myosin-X, and (2) actively spreading cells. In spreading cells, filopodia often mark sites of nascent adhesions. Interestingly, VASP suppression in spreading cells causes a significant increase in adhesion assembly at filopodial tips. This work demonstrates that, in U2OS cells, Ena/VASP proteins play roles in filopodia beyond those at filopodial tips.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Project description:Migration of cells is one of the most essential prerequisites to form higher organisms and depends on a strongly coordinated sequence of processes. Early migratory events include substrate sensing, adhesion formation, actin bundle assembly and force generation. While substrate sensing was ascribed to filopodia, all other processes were believed to depend mainly on lamellipodia of migrating cells. In this work we show for motile keratinocytes that all processes from substrate sensing to force generation strongly depend on filopodial focal complexes as well as on filopodial actin bundles. In a coordinated step by step process, filopodial focal complexes have to be tightly adhered to the substrate and to filopodial actin bundles to enlarge upon lamellipodial contact forming classical focal adhesions. Lamellipodial actin filaments attached to those focal adhesions originate from filopodia. Upon cell progression, the incorporation of filopodial actin bundles into the lamellipodium goes along with a complete change in actin cross-linker composition from filopodial fascin to lamellipodial alpha-actinin. alpha-Actinin in turn is replaced by myosin II and becomes incorporated directly behind the leading edge. Myosin II activity makes this class of actin bundles with their attached FAs the major source of force generation and transmission at the cell front. Furthermore, connection of FAs to force generating actin bundles leads to their stabilization and further enlargement. Consequently, adhesion sites formed independently of filopodia are not connected to detectable actin bundles, transmit weak forces to the substrate and disassemble within a few minutes without having been increased in size.
Project description:The ability of mammalian cells to adhere and to migrate is an essential prerequisite to form higher organisms. Early migratory events include substrate sensing, adhesion formation, actin bundle assembly and force generation. Latest research revealed that filopodia are important not only for sensing the substrate but for all of the aforementioned highly regulated processes. However, the exact regulatory mechanisms are still barely understood. Here, we demonstrate that filopodia of human keratinocytes exhibit distinct cycles of repetitive elongation and persistence. A single filopodium thereby is able to initiate the formation of several stable adhesions. Every single filopodial cycle is characterized by an elongation phase, followed by a stabilization time and in many cases a persistence phase. The whole process is strongly connected to the velocity of the lamellipodial leading edge, characterized by a similar phase behavior with a slight time shift compared to filopodia and a different velocity. Most importantly, re-growth of existing filopodia is induced at a sharply defined distance between the filopodial tip and the lamellipodial leading edge. On the molecular level this re-growth is preceded by a strong filopodial reduction of the actin bundling protein fascin. This reduction is achieved by a switch to actin polymerization without fascin incorporation at the filopodial tip and therefore subsequent out-transport of the cross-linker by actin retrograde flow.
Project description:Filopodia are finger-like protrusions from the plasma membrane and are of fundamental importance to cellular physiology, but the mechanisms governing their assembly are still in question. One model, called convergent elongation, proposes that filopodia arise from Arp2/3 complex-nucleated dendritic actin networks, with factors such as formins elongating these filaments into filopodia. We test this model using constitutively active constructs of two formins, FMNL3 and mDia2. Surprisingly, filopodial assembly requirements differ between suspension and adherent cells. In suspension cells, Arp2/3 complex is required for filopodial assembly through either formin. In contrast, a subset of filopodia remains after Arp2/3 complex inhibition in adherent cells. In adherent cells only, mDia1 and VASP also contribute to filopodial assembly, and filopodia are disproportionately associated with focal adhesions. We propose an extension of the existing models for filopodial assembly in which any cluster of actin filament barbed ends in proximity to the plasma membrane, either Arp2/3 complex dependent or independent, can initiate filopodial assembly by specific formins.
Project description:Actin polymerization is accompanied by the formation of protein complexes that link extracellular signals to sites of actin assembly such as membrane ruffles and focal adhesions. One candidate recently implicated in these processes is the LIM domain protein zyxin, which can bind both Ena/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) proteins and the actin filament cross-linking protein alpha-actinin. To characterize the localization and dynamics of zyxin in detail, we generated both monoclonal antibodies and a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-fusion construct. The antibodies colocalized with ectopically expressed GFP-VASP at focal adhesions and along stress fibers, but failed to label lamellipodial and filopodial tips, which also recruit Ena/VASP proteins. Likewise, neither microinjected, fluorescently labeled zyxin antibodies nor ectopically expressed GFP-zyxin were recruited to these latter sites in live cells, whereas both probes incorporated into focal adhesions and stress fibers. Comparing the dynamics of zyxin with that of the focal adhesion protein vinculin revealed that both proteins incorporated simultaneously into newly formed adhesions. However, during spontaneous or induced focal adhesion disassembly, zyxin delocalization preceded that of either vinculin or paxillin. Together, these data identify zyxin as an early target for signals leading to adhesion disassembly, but exclude its role in recruiting Ena/VASP proteins to the tips of lamellipodia and filopodia.
Project description:Lasp-2 binds to actin filaments and concentrates in the actin bundles of filopodia and lamellipodia in neural cells and focal adhesions in fibroblastic cells. Lasp-2 has three structural regions: a LIM domain, a nebulin-repeat region, and an SH3 domain; however, the region(s) responsible for its interactions with actin filaments and focal adhesions are still unclear. In this study, we revealed that the N-terminal fragment from the LIM domain to the first nebulin-repeat module (LIM-n1) retained actin-binding activity and showed a similar subcellular localization to full-length lasp-2 in neural cells. The LIM domain fragment did not interact with actin filaments or localize to actin filament bundles. In contrast, LIM-n1 showed a clear subcellular localization to filopodial actin bundles. Although truncation of the LIM domain caused the loss of F-actin binding activity and the accumulation of filopodial actin bundles, these truncated fragments localized to focal adhesions. These results suggest that lasp-2 interactions with actin filaments are mediated through the cooperation of the LIM domain and the first nebulin-repeat module in vitro and in vivo. Actin filament binding activity may be a major contributor to the subcellular localization of lasp-2 to filopodia but is not crucial for lasp-2 recruitment to focal adhesions.
Project description:Filopodia are dynamic, finger-like plasma membrane protrusions that sense the mechanical and chemical surroundings of the cell. Here, we show in epithelial cells that the dynamics of filopodial extension and retraction are determined by the difference between the actin polymerization rate at the tip and the retrograde flow at the base of the filopodium. Adhesion of a bead to the filopodial tip locally reduces actin polymerization and leads to retraction via retrograde flow, reminiscent of a process used by pathogens to invade cells. Using optical tweezers, we show that filopodial retraction occurs at a constant speed against counteracting forces up to 50 pN. Our measurements point toward retrograde flow in the cortex together with frictional coupling between the filopodial and cortical actin networks as the main retraction-force generator for filopodia. The force exerted by filopodial retraction, however, is limited by the connection between filopodial actin filaments and the membrane at the tip. Upon mechanical rupture of the tip connection, filopodia exert a passive retraction force of 15 pN via their plasma membrane. Transient reconnection at the tip allows filopodia to continuously probe their surroundings in a load-and-fail manner within a well-defined force range.
Project description:Filopodia are thin cell extensions sensing the environment. They play an essential role during cell migration, cell-cell or cell-matrix adhesion, by initiating contacts and conveying signals to the cell cortex. Pathogenic microorganisms can hijack filopodia to invade cells by inducing their retraction towards the cell body. Because their dynamics depend on a discrete number of actin filaments, filopodia provide a model of choice to study elementary events linked to adhesion and downstream signalling. However, the determinants controlling filopodial sensing are not well characterized. In this study, we used beads functionalized with different ligands that triggered filopodial retraction when in contact with filopodia of epithelial cells. With optical tweezers, we were able to measure forces stalling the retraction of a single filopodium. We found that the filopodial stall force depends on the coating of the bead. Stall forces reached 8 pN for beads coated with the ?1 integrin ligand Yersinia Invasin, whereas retraction was stopped with a higher force of 15 pN when beads were functionalized with carboxyl groups. In all cases, stall forces increased in relation to the density of ligands contacting filopodial tips and were independent of the optical trap stiffness. Unexpectedly, a discrete and small number of Shigella type three secretion systems induced stall forces of 10 pN. These results suggest that the number of receptor-ligand interactions at the filopodial tip determines the maximal retraction force exerted by filopodia but a discrete number of clustered receptors is sufficient to induce high retraction stall forces.
Project description:Filopodia are adhesive cellular protrusions specialized in the detection of extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived cues. Although ECM engagement at focal adhesions is known to trigger the recruitment of hundreds of proteins ("adhesome") to fine-tune cellular behavior, the components of the filopodia adhesions remain undefined. Here, we performed a structured-illumination-microscopy-based screen to map the localization of 80 target proteins, linked to cell adhesion and migration, within myosin-X-induced filopodia. We demonstrate preferential enrichment of several adhesion proteins to either filopodia tips, filopodia shafts, or shaft subdomains, suggesting divergent, spatially restricted functions for these proteins. Moreover, proteins with phosphoinositide (PI) binding sites are particularly enriched in filopodia. This, together with the strong localization of PI(3,4)P2 in filopodia tips, predicts critical roles for PIs in regulating filopodia ultra-structure and function. Our mapping further reveals that filopodia adhesions consist of a unique set of proteins, the filopodome, that are distinct from classical nascent adhesions, focal adhesions, and fibrillar adhesions. Using live imaging, we observe that filopodia adhesions can give rise to nascent adhesions, which, in turn, form focal adhesions. We demonstrate that p130Cas (BCAR1) is recruited to filopodia tips via its C-terminal Cas family homology domain (CCHD) and acts as a mechanosensitive regulator of filopodia stability. Finally, we demonstrate that our map based on myosin-X-induced filopodia can be translated to endogenous filopodia and fascin- and IRSp53-mediated filopodia.
Project description:Dendritic filopodia are actin-filled dynamic subcellular structures that sprout on neuronal dendrites during neurogenesis. The exploratory motion of the filopodia is crucial for synaptogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. To study filopodial motility, we collected and analyzed image data on filopodia in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. We hypothesized that mechanical feedback among the actin retrograde flow, myosin activity, and substrate adhesion gives rise to various filopodial behaviors. We formulated a minimal one-dimensional partial differential equation model that reproduced the range of observed motility. To validate our model, we systematically manipulated experimental correlates of parameters in the model: substrate adhesion strength, actin polymerization rate, myosin contractility, and the integrity of the putative microtubule-based barrier at the filopodium base. The model predicts the response of the system to each of these experimental perturbations, supporting the hypothesis that our actomyosin-driven mechanism controls dendritic filopodia dynamics.