[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The distribution of forces exerted by migrating Dictyostelium amebae at different developmental stages was measured using traction force microscopy. By using very soft polyacrylamide substrates with a high fluorescent bead density, we could measure stresses as small as 30 Pa. Remarkable differences exist both in term of the magnitude and distribution of forces in the course of development. In the vegetative state, cells present cyclic changes in term of speed and shape between an elongated form and a more rounded one. The forces are larger in this first state, especially when they are symmetrically distributed at the front and rear edge of the cell. Elongated vegetative cells can also present a front-rear asymmetric force distribution with the largest forces in the crescent-shaped rear of the cell (uropod). Pre-aggregating cells, once polarized, only present this last kind of asymmetric distribution with the largest forces in the uropod. Except for speed, no cycle is observed. Neither the force distribution of pre-aggregating cells nor their overall magnitude are modified during chemotaxis, the later being similar to the one of vegetative cells (F(0) approximately 6 nN). On the contrary, both the force distribution and overall magnitude is modified for the fast moving aggregating cells. In particular, these highly elongated cells exert lower forces (F(0) approximately 3 nN). The location of the largest forces in the various stages of the development is consistent with the myosin II localization described in the literature for Dictyostelium (Yumura et al.,1984. J Cell Biol 99:894-899) and is confirmed by preliminary experiments using a GFP-myosin Dictyostelium strain.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the absence of stimuli, most motile eukaryotic cells move by spontaneously coordinating cell deformation with cell movement in the absence of stimuli. Yet little is known about how cells change their own shape and how cells coordinate the deformation and movement. Here, we investigated the mechanism of spontaneous cell migration by using computational analyses.
We observed spontaneously migrating Dictyostelium cells in both a vegetative state (round cell shape and slow motion) and starved one (elongated cell shape and fast motion). We then extracted regular patterns of morphological dynamics and the pattern-dependent systematic coordination with filamentous actin (F-actin) and cell movement by statistical dynamic analyses.
We found that Dictyostelium cells in both vegetative and starved states commonly organize their own shape into three ordered patterns, elongation, rotation, and oscillation, in the absence of external stimuli. Further, cells inactivated for PI3-kinase (PI3K) and/or PTEN did not show ordered patterns due to the lack of spatial control in pseudopodial formation in both the vegetative and starved states. We also found that spontaneous polarization was achieved in starved cells by asymmetric localization of PTEN and F-actin. This breaking of the symmetry of protein localization maintained the leading edge and considerably enhanced the persistence of directed migration, and overall random exploration was ensured by switching among the different ordered patterns. Our findings suggest that Dictyostelium cells spontaneously create the ordered patterns of cell shape mediated by PI3K/PTEN/F-actin and control the direction of cell movement by coordination with these patterns even in the absence of external stimuli.