It is unclear that how subcellular organelles respond to external mechanical stimuli. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which mechanical force regulates Ca2+ signaling at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in human mesenchymal stem cells. Without extracellular Ca2+, ER Ca2+ release is the source of intracellular Ca2+ oscillations induced by laser-tweezer-traction at the plasma membrane, providing a model to study how mechanical stimuli can be transmitted deep inside the cell body. This ER Ca2+ release upon mechanical stimulation is mediated not only by the mechanical support of cytoskeleton and actomyosin contractility, but also by mechanosensitive Ca2+ permeable channels on the plasma membrane, specifically TRPM7. However, Ca2+ influx at the plasma membrane via mechanosensitive Ca2+ permeable channels is only mediated by the passive cytoskeletal structure but not active actomyosin contractility. Thus, active actomyosin contractility is essential for the response of ER to the external mechanical stimuli, distinct from the mechanical regulation at the plasma membrane.
Encapsulation of the cytoskeleton: towards mimicking the mechanics of a cell
The cytoskeleton of a cell controls all the aspects of cell shape changes and motility from its physiological functions for survival to reproduction to death. The structure and dynamics of the cytoskeletal components: actin, microtubules, intermediate filaments, and septins – recently regarded as the fourth member of the cytoskeleton family – are conserved during evolution. Such conserved and effective control over the mechanics of the cell makes the cytoskeletal components great candidates for in vitro reconstitution and bottom-up synthetic biology studies. Here, we review the recent efforts in reconstitution of the cytoskeleton in and on membrane-enclosed biomimetic systems and argue that co-reconstitution and synergistic interplay between cytoskeletal filaments might be indispensable for efficient mechanical functionality of active minimal cells. Further, mechanical equilibrium in adherent eukaryotic cells is achieved by the formation of integrin-based focal contacts with extracellular matrix (ECM) and the transmission of stresses generated by actomyosin contraction to ECM. Therefore, a minimal mimic of such balance of forces and quasi-static kinetics of the cell by bottom-up reconstitution requires a careful construction of contractile machineries and their link with adhesive contacts. In this review, in addition to cytoskeletal crosstalk, we provide a perspective on reconstruction of cell mechanical equilibrium by more »
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Soft Matter
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 8425 to 8436
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Distinct mechanisms regulating mechanical force-induced Ca2+ signals at the plasma membrane and the ER in human MSCs
Introduction— In response to external stress, cells alter their morphology, metabolic activity, and functions to mechanically adapt to the dynamic, local environment through cell allostasis. To explore mechanotransduction in cellular allostasis, we applied an integrated micromechanical system that combines an ‘ultrasound tweezers’-based mechanical stressor and a Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based molecular force biosensor, termed “actinin-sstFRET,” to monitor in situ single-cell allostasis in response to transient stimulation in real time. Methods— The ultrasound tweezers utilize 1 Hz, 10-second transient ultrasound pulses to acoustically excite a lipid-encapsulated microbubble, which is bound to the cell membrane, and apply a pico- to nano-Newton range of forces to cells through an RGD-integrin linkage. The actinin-sstFRET molecular sensor, which engages the actin stress fibers in live cells, is used to map real-time actomyosin force dynamics over time. Then, the mechanosensitive behaviors were examined by profiling the dynamics in Ca2+ influx, actomyosin cytoskeleton (CSK) activity, and GTPase RhoA signaling to define a single-cell mechanical allostasis. Results—By subjecting a 1 Hz, 10-second physical stress, single vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were observed to remodeled themselves in a biphasic mechanical allostatic manner within 30 minutes that caused them to adjust their contractility and actomyosin activities. The cellular machinerymore »
Lidke, Diane S. (Ed.)Activation of T cells leads to the formation of the immunological synapse (IS) with antigen presenting cells. This requires T cell polarization and coordination between the actomyosin and microtubule cytoskeletons. The interactions between these two cytoskeletal components during T cell activation are not well understood. Here, we elucidate the interactions between microtubules and actin at the IS with high-resolution fluorescence microscopy. We show that microtubule growth dynamics in the peripheral actin-rich region are distinct from those in the central actin-free region. We further demonstrate that these differences arise from differential involvement of Arp2/3- and formin-nucleated actin structures. Formin inhibition results in a moderate decrease in microtubule growth rates, which is amplified in the presence of integrin engagement. In contrast, Arp2/3 inhibition leads to an increase in microtubule growth rates. We find that microtubule filaments are more deformed and exhibit greater shape fluctuations in the periphery of the IS compared to the center. Using small molecule inhibitors, we show that actin dynamics and actomyosin contractility play key roles in defining microtubule deformations and shape fluctuations. Our results indicate a mechanical coupling between the actomyosin and microtubule systems during T cell activation, whereby different actin structures influence microtubule dynamics in distinct ways.more »
Abstract Building a complex structure such as the cell wall, with many individual parts that need to be assembled correctly from distinct sources within the cell, is a well-orchestrated process. Additional complexity is required to mediate dynamic responses to environmental and developmental cues. Enzymes, sugars, and other cell wall components are constantly and actively transported to and from the plasma membrane during diffuse growth. Cell wall components are transported in vesicles on cytoskeletal tracks composed of microtubules and actin filaments. Many of these components, and additional proteins, vesicles, and lipids are trafficked to and from the cell plate during cytokinesis. In this review, we first discuss how the cytoskeleton is initially organized to add new cell wall material or to build a new cell wall, focusing on similarities during these processes. Next, we discuss how polysaccharides and enzymes that build the cell wall are trafficked to the correct location by motor proteins and through other interactions with the cytoskeleton. Finally, we discuss some of the special features of newly formed cell walls generated during cytokinesis.
In cells, cytoskeletal filament networks are responsible for cell movement, growth, and division. Filaments in the cytoskeleton are driven and organized by crosslinking molecular motors. In reconstituted cytoskeletal systems, motor activity is responsible for far-from-equilibrium phenomena such as active stress, self-organized flow, and spontaneous nematic defect generation. How microscopic interactions between motors and filaments lead to larger-scale dynamics remains incompletely understood. To build from motor–filament interactions to predict bulk behavior of cytoskeletal systems, more computationally efficient techniques for modeling motor–filament interactions are needed. Here, we derive a coarse-graining hierarchy of explicit and continuum models for crosslinking motors that bind to and walk on filament pairs. We compare the steady-state motor distribution and motor-induced filament motion for the different models and analyze their computational cost. All three models agree well in the limit of fast motor binding kinetics. Evolving a truncated moment expansion of motor density speeds the computation by 103–106 compared to the explicit or continuous-density simulations, suggesting an approach for more efficient simulation of large networks. These tools facilitate further study of motor–filament networks on micrometer to millimeter length scales.