ResearchPad - cell-adhesion https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Functional and structural consequences of epithelial cell invasion by <i>Bordetella pertussis</i> adenylate cyclase toxin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7693 Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whopping cough, produces an adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) that plays a key role in the host colonization by targeting innate immune cells which express CD11b/CD18, the cellular receptor of CyaA. CyaA is also able to invade non-phagocytic cells, via a unique entry pathway consisting in a direct translocation of its catalytic domain across the cytoplasmic membrane of the cells. Within the cells, CyaA is activated by calmodulin to produce high levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and alter cellular physiology. In this study, we explored the effects of CyaA toxin on the cellular and molecular structure remodeling of A549 alveolar epithelial cells. Using classical imaging techniques, biochemical and functional tests, as well as advanced cell mechanics method, we quantify the structural and functional consequences of the massive increase of intracellular cyclic AMP induced by the toxin: cell shape rounding associated to adhesion weakening process, actin structure remodeling for the cortical and dense components, increase in cytoskeleton stiffness, and inhibition of migration and repair. We also show that, at low concentrations (0.5 nM), CyaA could significantly impair the migration and wound healing capacities of the intoxicated alveolar epithelial cells. As such concentrations might be reached locally during B. pertussis infection, our results suggest that the CyaA, beyond its major role in disabling innate immune cells, might also contribute to the local alteration of the epithelial barrier of the respiratory tract, a hallmark of pertussis.

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<![CDATA[Phosphorylation Reduces the Mechanical Stability of the α‐Catenin/ β‐Catenin Complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbf979e20-b9df-4fac-9611-cafcfa92e168

Abstract

The α‐catenin/β‐catenin complex serves as a critical molecular interface involved in cadherin–catenin‐based mechanosensing at the cell–cell adherence junction that plays a critical role in tissue integrity, repair, and embryonic development. This complex is subject to tensile forces due to internal actomyosin contractility and external mechanical micro‐environmental perturbation. However, the mechanical stability of this complex has yet to be quantified. Here, we directly quantified the mechanical stability of the α‐catenin/β‐catenin complex and showed that it has enough mechanical stability to survive for tens to hundreds of seconds within physiological level of forces up to 10 pN. Phosphorylation or phosphotyrosine‐mimetic mutations (Y142E or/and T120E) on β‐catenin shorten the mechanical lifetime of the complex by tens of fold over the same force range. These results provide insights into the regulation of the α‐catenin/β‐catenin complex by phosphorylation.

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<![CDATA[Computational and experimental analysis of bioactive peptide linear motifs in the integrin adhesome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d60ed5eed0c4840314e3

Therapeutic modulation of protein interactions is challenging, but short linear motifs (SLiMs) represent potential targets. Focal adhesions play a central role in adhesion by linking cells to the extracellular matrix. Integrins are central to this process, and many other intracellular proteins are components of the integrin adhesome. We applied a peptide network targeting approach to explore the intracellular modulation of integrin function in platelets. Firstly, we computed a platelet-relevant integrin adhesome, inferred via homology of known platelet proteins to adhesome components. We then computationally selected peptides from the set of platelet integrin adhesome cytoplasmic and membrane adjacent protein-protein interfaces. Motifs of interest in the intracellular component of the platelet integrin adhesome were identified using a predictor of SLiMs based on analysis of protein primary amino acid sequences (SLiMPred), a predictor of strongly conserved motifs within disordered protein regions (SLiMPrints), and information from the literature regarding protein interactions in the complex. We then synthesized peptides incorporating these motifs combined with cell penetrating factors (tat peptide and palmitylation for cytoplasmic and membrane proteins respectively). We tested for the platelet activating effects of the peptides, as well as their abilities to inhibit activation. Bioactivity testing revealed a number of peptides that modulated platelet function, including those derived from α-actinin (ACTN1) and syndecan (SDC4), binding to vinculin and syntenin respectively. Both chimeric peptide experiments and peptide combination experiments failed to identify strong effects, perhaps characterizing the adhesome as relatively robust against within-adhesome synergistic perturbation. We investigated in more detail peptides targeting vinculin. Combined experimental and computational evidence suggested a model in which the positively charged tat-derived cell penetrating part of the peptide contributes to bioactivity via stabilizing charge interactions with a region of the ACTN1 negatively charged surface. We conclude that some interactions in the integrin adhesome appear to be capable of modulation by short peptides, and may aid in the identification and characterization of target sites within the complex that may be useful for therapeutic modulation.

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<![CDATA[Suppression of angiotensin II-induced pathological changes in heart and kidney by the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269747d5eed0c48470f1b0

Dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin system leads to systemic hypertension and maladaptive fibrosis in various organs. We showed recently that myocardial fibrosis and the loss of cardiac function in mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) could be averted by treatment with the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain (CSD) peptide. Here, we used angiotensin II (AngII) infusion (2.1 mg/kg/day for 2 wk) in mice as a second model to confirm and extend our observations on the beneficial effects of CSD on heart and kidney disease. AngII caused cardiac hypertrophy (increased heart weight to body weight ratio (HW/BW) and cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area); fibrosis in heart and kidney (increased levels of collagen I and heat shock protein-47 (HSP47)); and vascular leakage (increased levels of IgG in heart and kidney). Echocardiograms of AngII-infused mice showed increased left ventricular posterior wall thickness (pWTh) and isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT), and decreased ejection fraction (EF), stroke volume (SV), and cardiac output (CO). CSD treatment (i.p. injections, 50 μg/mouse/day) of AngII-infused mice significantly suppressed all of these pathological changes in fibrosis, hypertrophy, vascular leakage, and ventricular function. AngII infusion increased β1 and β3 integrin levels and activated Pyk2 in both heart and kidney. These changes were also suppressed by CSD. Finally, bone marrow cell (BMC) isolated from AngII-infused mice showed hyper-migration toward SDF1. When AngII-infused mice were treated with CSD, BMC migration was reduced to the basal level observed in cells from control mice. Importantly, CSD did not affect the AngII-induced increase in blood pressure (BP), indicating that the beneficial effects of CSD were not mediated via normalization of BP. These results strongly indicate that CSD suppresses AngII-induced pathological changes in mice, suggesting that CSD can be developed as a treatment for patients with hypertension and pressure overload-induced heart failure.

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<![CDATA[Physiological relevance of epithelial geometry: New insights into the standing gradient model and the role of LI cadherin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26976dd5eed0c48470f804

We introduce a mathematical model of an absorbing leaky epithelium to reconsider the problem formulated by Diamond and Bossert in 1967: whether “… some distinctive physiological properties of epithelia might arise as geometrical consequences of epithelial ultrastructure”. A standing gradient model of the intercellular cleft (IC) is presented that includes tight junctions (TJ) and ion channels uniformly distributed along the whole cleft. This nonlinear system has an intrinsic homogeneous concentration and the spatial scale necessary to establish it along the cleft. These parameters have not been elucidated so far. We further provide non-perturbative analytical approximations for a broad range of parameters. We found that narrowing of the IC increases ion concentration dramatically and can therefore prevent outflow through tight junctions (TJs) and the lateral membrane, as long as extremely high luminal osmolarities are not reached. Our model predicts that the system is to some extent self-regulating and thereby prevents fluxes into the lumen. Recent experimental evidence has shown that liver-intestine (LI) cadherin can control the up/down flux in intestines via regulation of the cleft width. This finding is in full agreement with predictions of our model. We suggest that LI-cadherin may increase water transport through epithelia via sequential narrowing of the cleft, starting from the highest concentration area at the beginning of the cleft and triggering a propagating squeezing motion.

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<![CDATA[CDHR3 extracellular domains EC1-3 mediate rhinovirus C interaction with cells and as recombinant derivatives, are inhibitory to virus infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813ced5eed0c484775dec

Viruses in the rhinovirus C species (RV-C) are more likely to cause severe wheezing illnesses and asthma exacerbations in children than related isolates of the RV-A or RV-B. The RV-C capsid is structurally distinct from other rhinoviruses and does not bind ICAM-1 or LDL receptors. The RV-C receptor is instead, human cadherin-related family member 3 (CDHR3), a protein unique to the airway epithelium. A single nucleotide polymorphism (rs6967330, encoding C529Y) in CDHR3 regulates the display density of CDHR3 on cell surfaces and is among the strongest known genetic correlates for childhood virus-induced asthma susceptibility. CDHR3 immunoprecipitations from transfected or transduced cell lysates were used to characterize the RV-C interaction requirements. The C529 and Y529 variations in extracellular repeat domain 5 (EC5), bound equivalently to virus. Glycosylase treatment followed by mass spectrometry mapped 3 extracellular N-linked modification sites, and further detected surface-dependent, α2–6 sialyation unique to the Y529 format. None of these modifications were required for RV-C recognition, but removal or even dilution of structurally stabilizing calcium ions from the EC junctions irreversibly abrogated virus binding. CDHR3 deletions expressed in HeLa cells or as bacterial recombinant proteins, mapped the amino-terminal EC1 unit as the required virus contact. Derivatives containing the EC1 domain, could not only recapitulate virus:receptor interactions in vitro, but also directly inhibit RV-C infection of susceptible cells for several virus genotypes (C02, C15, C41, and C45). We propose that all RV-C use the same EC1 landing pad, interacting with putative EC3-mediated multimerization formats of CDHR3.

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<![CDATA[Intramembrane ionic protein–lipid interaction regulates integrin structure and function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf5cbf0d5eed0c484a80df8

Protein transmembrane domains (TMDs) are generally hydrophobic, but our bioinformatics analysis shows that many TMDs contain basic residues at terminal regions. Physiological functions of these membrane-snorkeling basic residues are largely unclear. Here, we show that a membrane-snorkeling Lys residue in integrin αLβ2 (also known as lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 [LFA-1]) regulates transmembrane heterodimer formation and integrin adhesion through ionic interplay with acidic phospholipids and calcium ions (Ca2+) in T cells. The amino group of the conserved Lys ionically interacts with the phosphate group of acidic phospholipids to stabilize αLβ2 transmembrane association, thus keeping the integrin at low-affinity conformation. Intracellular Ca2+ uses its charge to directly disrupt this ionic interaction, leading to the transmembrane separation and the subsequent extracellular domain extension to increase adhesion activity. This Ca2+-mediated regulation is independent on the canonical Ca2+ signaling or integrin inside-out signaling. Our work therefore showcases the importance of intramembrane ionic protein–lipid interaction and provides a new mechanism of integrin activation.

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<![CDATA[Rab11 and Actin Cytoskeleton Participate in Giardia lamblia Encystation, Guiding the Specific Vesicles to the Cyst Wall]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafeab0ee8fa60bc590a

Background

Giardia passes through two stages during its life cycle, the trophozoite and the cyst. Cyst formation involves the synthesis of cyst wall proteins (CWPs) and the transport of CWPs into encystation-specific vesicles (ESVs). Active vesicular trafficking is essential for encystation, but the molecular machinery driving vesicular trafficking remains unknown. The Rab proteins are involved in the targeting of vesicles to several intracellular compartments through their association with cytoskeletal motor proteins.

Methodology and Principal Findings

In this study, we found a relationship between Rab11 and the actin cytoskeleton in CWP1 transport. Confocal microscopy showed Rab11 was distributed throughout the entire trophozoite, while in cysts it was translocated to the periphery of the cell, where it colocalized with ESVs and microfilaments. Encystation was also accompanied by changes in rab11 mRNA expression. To evaluate the role of microfilaments in encystation, the cells were treated with latrunculin A. Scanning electron microscopy showed this treatment resulted in morphological damages to encysted parasites. The intensity of fluorescence-labeled Rab11 and CWP1 in ESVs and cyst walls was reduced, and rab11 and cwp1 mRNA levels were down-regulated. Furthermore, knocking down Rab11 with a hammerhead ribozyme resulted in an up to 80% down-regulation of rab11 mRNA. Although this knockdown did not appear lethal for trophozoites and did not affect cwp1 expression during the encystation, confocal images showed CWP1 was redistributed throughout the cytosol.

Conclusions and Significance

Our results indicate that Rab11 participates in the early and late encystation stages by regulating CWP1 localization and the actin-mediated transport of ESVs towards the periphery. In addition, alterations in the dynamics of actin affected rab11 and cwp1 expression. Our results provide new information about the molecules involved in Giardia encystation and suggest that Rab11 and actin may be useful as novel pharmacological targets.

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<![CDATA[Local ATP Generation by Brain-Type Creatine Kinase (CK-B) Facilitates Cell Motility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab8ab0ee8fa60bada0a

Background

Creatine Kinases (CK) catalyze the reversible transfer of high-energy phosphate groups between ATP and phosphocreatine, thereby playing a storage and distribution role in cellular energetics. Brain-type CK (CK-B) deficiency is coupled to loss of function in neural cell circuits, altered bone-remodeling by osteoclasts and complement-mediated phagocytotic activity of macrophages, processes sharing dependency on actomyosin dynamics.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here, we provide evidence for direct coupling between CK-B and actomyosin activities in cortical microdomains of astrocytes and fibroblasts during spreading and migration. CK-B transiently accumulates in membrane ruffles and ablation of CK-B activity affects spreading and migration performance. Complementation experiments in CK-B-deficient fibroblasts, using new strategies to force protein relocalization from cytosol to cortical sites at membranes, confirmed the contribution of compartmentalized CK-B to cell morphogenetic dynamics.

Conclusion/Significance

Our results provide evidence that local cytoskeletal dynamics during cell motility is coupled to on-site availability of ATP generated by CK-B.

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<![CDATA[Zebrafish Prion Protein PrP2 Controls Collective Migration Process during Lateral Line Sensory System Development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadaab0ee8fa60bb9987

Prion protein is involved in severe neurodegenerative disorders but its physiological role is still in debate due to an absence of major developmental defects in knockout mice. Previous reports in zebrafish indicate that the two prion genes, PrP1 and PrP2, are both involved in several steps of embryonic development thus providing a unique route to discover prion protein function. Here we investigate the role of PrP2 during development of a mechano-sensory system, the posterior lateral line, using morpholino knockdown and PrP2 targeted inactivation. We confirm the efficiency of the translation blocking morpholino at the protein level. Development of the posterior lateral line is altered in PrP2 morphants, including nerve axonal outgrowth and primordium migration defects. Reduced neuromast deposition was observed in PrP2 morphants as well as in PrP2−/− mutants. Rosette formation defects were observed in PrP2 morphants, strongly suggesting an abnormal primordium organization and reflecting loss of cell cohesion during migration of the primordium. In addition, the adherens junction proteins, E-cadherin and ß-catenin, were mis-localized after reduction of PrP2 expression and thus contribute to the primordium disorganization. Consequently, hair cell differentiation and number were affected and this resulted in reduced functional neuromasts. At later developmental stages, myelination of the posterior lateral line nerve was altered. Altogether, our study reports an essential role of PrP2 in collective migration process of the primordium and in neuromast formation, further implicating a role for prion protein in cell adhesion.

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<![CDATA[Meta-Analysis of EMT Datasets Reveals Different Types of EMT]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab7ab0ee8fa60bad5ff

As a critical process during embryonic development, cancer progression and cell fate conversions, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been extensively studied over the last several decades. To further understand the nature of EMT, we performed meta-analysis of multiple microarray datasets to identify the related generic signature. In this study, 24 human and 17 mouse microarray datasets were integrated to identify conserved gene expression changes in different types of EMT. Our integrative analysis revealed that there is low agreement among the list of the identified signature genes and three other lists in previous studies. Since removing the datasets with weakly-induced EMT from the analysis did not significantly improve the overlapping in the signature-gene lists, we hypothesized the existence of different types of EMT. This hypothesis was further supported by the grouping of 74 human EMT-induction samples into five distinct clusters, and the identification of distinct pathways in these different clusters of EMT samples. The five clusters of EMT-induction samples also improves the understanding of the characteristics of different EMT types. Therefore, we concluded the existence of different types of EMT was the possible reason for its complex role in multiple biological processes.

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<![CDATA[Basonuclin-Null Mutation Impairs Homeostasis and Wound Repair in Mouse Corneal Epithelium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da70ab0ee8fa60b94ad4

At least two cellular processes are required for corneal epithelium homeostasis and wound repair: cell proliferation and cell-cell adhesion. These processes are delicately balanced to ensure the maintenance of normal epithelial function. During wound healing, these processes must be reprogrammed in coordination to achieve a rapid re-epithelialization. Basonuclin (Bnc1) is a cell-type-specific transcription factor expressed mainly in the proliferative keratinocytes of stratified epithelium (e.g., corneal epithelium, epidermis and esophageal epithelium) and the gametogenic cells in testis and ovary. Our previous work suggested that basonuclin could regulate transcription of ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) and genes involved in chromatin structure, transcription regulation, cell-cell junction/communication, ion-channels and intracelllular transportation. However, basonuclin's role in keratinocytes has not been demonstrated in vivo. Here we show that basonuclin-null mutation disrupts corneal epithelium homeostasis and delays wound healing by impairing cell proliferation. In basonuclin-null cornea epithelium, RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription is perturbed. This perturbation is unique because it affects transcripts from a subset of rDNA. Basonuclin-null mutation also perturbs RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcripts from genes encoding chromatin structure proteins histone 3 and HMG2, transcription factor Gli2, gap-junction protein connexin 43 and adheren E-cadherin. In most cases, a concerted change in mRNA and protein level is observed. However, for E-cadherin, despite a notable increase in its mRNA level, its protein level was reduced. In conclusion, our study establishes basonuclin as a regulator of corneal epithelium homeostasis and maintenance. Basonuclin likely coordinates functions of a subset of ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) and a group of protein coding genes in cellular processes critical for the regulation of cell proliferation.

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<![CDATA[A Biophysical Model of Cell Adhesion Mediated by Immunoadhesin Drugs and Antibodies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2dab0ee8fa60b82ff4

A promising direction in drug development is to exploit the ability of natural killer cells to kill antibody-labeled target cells. Monoclonal antibodies and drugs designed to elicit this effect typically bind cell-surface epitopes that are overexpressed on target cells but also present on other cells. Thus it is important to understand adhesion of cells by antibodies and similar molecules. We present an equilibrium model of such adhesion, incorporating heterogeneity in target cell epitope density, nonspecific adhesion forces, and epitope immobility. We compare with experiments on the adhesion of Jurkat T cells to bilayers containing the relevant natural killer cell receptor, with adhesion mediated by the drug alefacept. We show that a model in which all target cell epitopes are mobile and available is inconsistent with the data, suggesting that more complex mechanisms are at work. We hypothesize that the immobile epitope fraction may change with cell adhesion, and we find that such a model is more consistent with the data, although discrepancies remain. We also quantitatively describe the parameter space in which binding occurs. Our model elaborates substantially on previous work, and our results offer guidance for the refinement of therapeutic immunoadhesins. Furthermore, our comparison with data from Jurkat T cells also points toward mechanisms relating epitope immobility to cell adhesion.

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<![CDATA[FAK-Mediated Mechanotransduction in Skeletal Regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b861e3

The majority of cells are equipped to detect and decipher physical stimuli, and then react to these stimuli in a cell type-specific manner. Ultimately, these cellular behaviors are synchronized to produce a tissue response, but how this is achieved remains enigmatic. Here, we investigated the genetic basis for mechanotransduction using the bone marrow as a model system. We found that physical stimuli produced a pattern of principal strain that precisely corresponded to the site-specific expression of sox9 and runx2, two transcription factors required for the commitment of stem cells to a skeletogenic lineage, and the arrangement and orientation of newly deposited type I collagen fibrils. To gain insights into the genetic basis for skeletal mechanotransduction we conditionally inactivated focal adhesion kinase (FAK), an intracellular component of the integrin signaling pathway. By doing so we abolished the mechanically induced osteogenic response and thus identified a critical genetic component of the molecular machinery required for mechanotransduction. Our data provide a new framework in which to consider how physical forces and molecular signals are synchronized during the program of skeletal regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Truncated Bovine Integrin Alpha-v/Beta-6 as a Universal Capture Ligand for FMD Diagnosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6eab0ee8fa60b93c4d

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in many regions of the world and is one of the most prevalent epizootic animal diseases. FMD affects livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, and causes enormous economic losses due to reduced productivity and trade restrictions. Preparedness and early diagnosis are essential for effective control of FMD. Many diagnostic assays are dependent on raising high-affinity, anti-FMD virus (FMDV) serotype-specific antibodies in small animals (rabbits and guinea pigs) that give broad virus coverage. Here we show that soluble, truncated forms of bovine αvβ6 bind FMDV in an authentic RGD and divalent cation dependent interaction and can be used as the trapping reagent in a FMDV sandwich ELISA. In addition, inclusion of FLAG or His tags facilitates simple purification without the loss of virus binding. We also provide evidence that when combined with a guinea pig polyclonal serum, or serotype-specific monoclonal antibodies, the integrin can be used to detect viruses representative of all FMDV serotypes. We also show that recombinant FMDV empty capsids, with stabilising disulphide bonds, can serve as an antigen in the ELISA and can therefore replace inactivated virus antigen as a positive control for the assay. Our results demonstrate the potential use of bovine αvβ6 and FMDV empty capsids in FMD diagnostic assays.

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<![CDATA[Integrin α5β1 Function Is Regulated by XGIPC/kermit2 Mediated Endocytosis during Xenopus laevis Gastrulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e4ab0ee8fa60b6aa48

During Xenopus gastrulation α5β1 integrin function is modulated in a temporally and spatially restricted manner, however, the regulatory mechanisms behind this regulation remain uncharacterized. Here we report that XGIPC/kermit2 binds to the cytoplasmic domain of the α5 subunit and regulates the activity of α5β1 integrin. The interaction of kermit2 with α5β1 is essential for fibronectin (FN) matrix assembly during the early stages of gastrulation. We further demonstrate that kermit2 regulates α5β1 integrin endocytosis downstream of activin signaling. Inhibition of kermit2 function impairs cell migration but not adhesion to FN substrates indicating that integrin recycling is essential for mesoderm cell migration. Furthermore, we find that the α5β1 integrin is colocalized with kermit2 and Rab 21 in embryonic and XTC cells. These data support a model where region specific mesoderm induction acts through kermit2 to regulate the temporally and spatially restricted changes in adhesive properties of the α5β1 integrin through receptor endocytosis.

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<![CDATA[Exo70 Subunit of the Exocyst Complex Is Involved in Adhesion-Dependent Trafficking of Caveolin-1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db15ab0ee8fa60bcce97

Caveolae are specialized domains of the plasma membrane, which play key roles in signaling, endocytosis and mechanosensing. Using total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF-M), we observe that the exocyst subunit Exo70 forms punctuate structures at the plasma membrane and partially localizes with caveolin-1, the main component of caveolae. Upon cell detachment, we found that Exo70 accumulates with caveolin-1-positive vesicular structures. Upon cell re-adhesion, caveolin-1 traffics back to the plasma membrane in a multistep process involving microtubules and actin cytoskeleton. In addition, silencing of Exo70 redirects caveolin-1 to focal adhesions identified by markers such as α5 integrin or vinculin. Based on these findings, we conclude that Exo70 is involved in caveolin-1 recycling to the plasma membrane during re-adhesion of the cells to the substratum.

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<![CDATA[The Talin Head Domain Reinforces Integrin-Mediated Adhesion by Promoting Adhesion Complex Stability and Clustering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da37ab0ee8fa60b86886

Talin serves an essential function during integrin-mediated adhesion in linking integrins to actin via the intracellular adhesion complex. In addition, the N-terminal head domain of talin regulates the affinity of integrins for their ECM-ligands, a process known as inside-out activation. We previously showed that in Drosophila, mutating the integrin binding site in the talin head domain resulted in weakened adhesion to the ECM. Intriguingly, subsequent studies showed that canonical inside-out activation of integrin might not take place in flies. Consistent with this, a mutation in talin that specifically blocks its ability to activate mammalian integrins does not significantly impinge on talin function during fly development. Here, we describe results suggesting that the talin head domain reinforces and stabilizes the integrin adhesion complex by promoting integrin clustering distinct from its ability to support inside-out activation. Specifically, we show that an allele of talin containing a mutation that disrupts intramolecular interactions within the talin head attenuates the assembly and reinforcement of the integrin adhesion complex. Importantly, we provide evidence that this mutation blocks integrin clustering in vivo. We propose that the talin head domain is essential for regulating integrin avidity in Drosophila and that this is crucial for integrin-mediated adhesion during animal development.

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<![CDATA[Insights into the Utility of the Focal Adhesion Scaffolding Proteins in the Anaerobic Fungus Orpinomyces sp. C1A]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad3ab0ee8fa60bb7154

Focal adhesions (FAs) are large eukaryotic multiprotein complexes that are present in all metazoan cells and function as stable sites of tight adhesion between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the cell’s cytoskeleton. FAs consist of anchor membrane protein (integrins), scaffolding proteins (e.g. α-actinin, talin, paxillin, and vinculin), signaling proteins of the IPP complex (e.g. integrin-linked kinase, α-parvin, and PINCH), and signaling kinases (e.g. focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src kinase). While genes encoding complete focal adhesion machineries are present in genomes of all multicellular Metazoa; incomplete machineries were identified in the genomes of multiple non-metazoan unicellular Holozoa, basal fungal lineages, and amoebozoan representatives. Since a complete FA machinery is required for functioning, the putative role, if any, of these incomplete FA machineries is currently unclear. We sought to examine the expression patterns of FA-associated genes in the anaerobic basal fungal isolate Orpinomyces sp. strain C1A under different growth conditions and at different developmental stages. Strain C1A lacks clear homologues of integrin, and the two signaling kinases FAK and Src, but encodes for all scaffolding proteins, and the IPP complex proteins. We developed a protocol for synchronizing growth of C1A cultures, allowing for the collection and mRNA extraction from flagellated spores, encysted germinating spores, active zoosporangia, and late inactive sporangia of strain C1A. We demonstrate that the genes encoding the FA scaffolding proteins α-actinin, talin, paxillin, and vinculin are indeed transcribed under all growth conditions, and at all developmental stages of growth. Further, analysis of the observed transcriptional patterns suggests the putative involvement of these components in alternative non-adhesion-specific functions, such as hyphal tip growth during germination and flagellar assembly during zoosporogenesis. Based on these results, we propose putative alternative functions for such proteins in the anaerobic gut fungi. Our results highlight the presumed diverse functionalities of FA scaffolding proteins in basal fungi.

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<![CDATA[Macromolecular Crowding Directs Extracellular Matrix Organization and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75e08

Microenvironments of biological cells are dominated in vivo by macromolecular crowding and resultant excluded volume effects. This feature is absent in dilute in vitro cell culture. Here, we induced macromolecular crowding in vitro by using synthetic macromolecular globules of nm-scale radius at physiological levels of fractional volume occupancy. We quantified the impact of induced crowding on the extracellular and intracellular protein organization of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) via immunocytochemistry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and AFM-enabled nanoindentation. Macromolecular crowding in extracellular culture media directly induced supramolecular assembly and alignment of extracellular matrix proteins deposited by cells, which in turn increased alignment of the intracellular actin cytoskeleton. The resulting cell-matrix reciprocity further affected adhesion, proliferation, and migration behavior of MSCs. Macromolecular crowding can thus aid the design of more physiologically relevant in vitro studies and devices for MSCs and other cells, by increasing the fidelity between materials synthesized by cells in vivo and in vitro.

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