Substrate stiffness and the receptor-type tyrosine-protein phosphatase alpha regulate spreading of colon cancer cells through cytoskeletal contractility.
ABSTRACT Microenvironmental clues are critical to cell behavior. One of the key elements of migration is the generation and response to forces. Up to now, there is no definitive concept on how the generation and responses to cellular forces influence cancer-cell behavior. Here, we show that expression of receptor-type tyrosine-protein phosphatase alpha (RPTPalpha) in human SW480 colon cancer cells sets a threshold for the response to matrix forces by changing cellular contractility. This can be explained as an RPTPalpha-mediated increase in contractility with a consecutive increase in number and size of adhesion sites and stress fibers. These effects are mediated through myosin light chain kinase and largely independent of Rho/Rho-kinase (ROCK) signaling. In addition, we report that RPTPalpha influences spreading on low-rigidity surfaces, binding of collagen-coated beads and expression of RPTPalpha is required for invasion into the chorioallantoic membrane. These data suggest that force-responsive proteins such as RPTPalpha can influence cancer-cell behavior and identify potential targets for cancer therapy.
Article: High refractive index silicone gels for simultaneous total internal reflection fluorescence and traction force microscopy of adherent cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Substrate rigidity profoundly impacts cellular behaviors such as migration, gene expression, and cell fate. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy enables selective visualization of the dynamics of substrate adhesions, vesicle trafficking, and biochemical signaling at the cell-substrate interface. Here we apply high-refractive-index silicone gels to perform TIRF microscopy on substrates with a wide range of physiological elastic moduli and simultaneously measure traction forces exerted by cells on the substrate.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e23807. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thin layers of gels with mechanical properties mimicking animal tissues are widely used to study the rigidity sensing of adherent animal cells and to measure forces applied by cells to their substrate with traction force microscopy. The gels are usually based on polyacrylamide and their elastic modulus is measured with an atomic force microscope (AFM). Here we present a simple microfluidic device that generates high shear stresses in a laminar flow above a gel-coated substrate and apply the device to gels with elastic moduli in a range from 0.4 to 300 kPa that are all prepared by mixing two components of a transparent commercial silicone Sylgard 184. The elastic modulus is measured by tracking beads on the gel surface under a wide-field fluorescence microscope without any other specialized equipment. The measurements have small and simple to estimate errors and their results are confirmed by conventional tensile tests. A master curve is obtained relating the mixing ratios of the two components of Sylgard 184 with the resulting elastic moduli of the gels. The rigidity of the silicone gels is less susceptible to effects from drying, swelling, and aging than polyacrylamide gels and can be easily coated with fluorescent tracer particles and with molecules promoting cellular adhesion. This work can lead to broader use of silicone gels in the cell biology laboratory and to improved repeatability and accuracy of cell traction force microscopy and rigidity sensing experiments.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e25534. · 4.09 Impact Factor