Article: article from journal or magazin.
Superficial and deep changes of cellular mechanical properties following cytoskeleton disassembly.
Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
The cytoskeleton, composed of actin filaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules, is a highly dynamic supramolecular network actively involved in many essential biological mechanisms such as cellular structure, transport, movements, differentiation, and signaling. As a first step to characterize the biophysical changes associated with cytoskeleton functions, we have developed finite elements models of the organization of the cell that has allowed us to interpret atomic force microscopy (AFM) data at a higher resolution than that in previous work. Thus, by assuming that living cells behave mechanically as multilayered structures, we have been able to identify superficial and deep effects that could be related to actin and microtubule disassembly, respectively. In Cos-7 cells, actin destabilization with Cytochalasin D induced a decrease of the visco-elasticity close to the membrane surface, while destabilizing microtubules with Nocodazole produced a stiffness decrease only in deeper parts of the cell. In both cases, these effects were reversible. Cell softening was measurable with AFM at concentrations of the destabilizing agents that did not induce detectable effects on the cytoskeleton network when viewing the cells with fluorescent confocal microscopy. All experimental results could be simulated by our models. This technology opens the door to the study of the biophysical properties of signaling domains extending from the cell surface to deeper parts of the cell.
Actins/antagonists & inhibitors, Animals, Biomechanics, COS Cells, Cercopithecus aethiops, Computer Simulation, Cytochalasin D/pharmacology, Cytoskeleton/drug effects, Cytoskeleton/physiology, Fibroblasts/cytology, Fibroblasts/drug effects, Genes, Reporter, Microscopy, Confocal, Microtubules/drug effects, Microtubules/physiology, Models, Biological, Transfection
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