Browsing by Subject "FOCAL ADHESIONS"

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  • Lehtimaki, Jaakko; Rajakylä, Eeva Kaisa; Tojkander, Sari; Lappalainen, Pekka (2021)
    Contractile actomyosin bundles, stress fibers, govern key cellular processes including migration, adhesion, and mechanosensing. Stress fibers are thus critical for developmental morphogenesis. The most prominent actomyosin bundles, ventral stress fibers, are generated through coalescence of pre-existing stress fiber precursors. However, whether stress fibers can assemble through other mechanisms has remained elusive. We report that stress fibers can also form without requirement of pre-existing actomyosin bundles. These structures, which we named cortical stress fibers, are embedded in the cell cortex and assemble preferentially underneath the nucleus. In this process, non-muscle myosin II pulses orchestrate the reorganization of cortical actin meshwork into regular bundles, which promote reinforcement of nascent focal adhesions, and subsequent stabilization of the cortical stress fibers. These results identify a new mechanism by which stress fibers can be generated de novo from the actin cortex and establish role for stochastic myosin pulses in the assembly of functional actomyosin bundles.
  • Bulanova, Daria R.; Akimov, Yevhen A.; Rokka, Anne; Laajala, Teemu D.; Aittokallio, Tero; Kouvonen, Petri; Pellinen, Teijo; Kuznetsov, Sergey G. (2017)
    G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR), Class C, Group 5, Member A (GPRC5A) has been implicated in several malignancies. The underlying mechanisms, however, remain poorly understood. Using a panel of human cell lines, we demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout and RNAi-mediated depletion of GPRC5A impairs cell adhesion to integrin substrates: collagens I and IV, fibronectin, as well as to extracellular matrix proteins derived from the Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) mouse sarcoma (Matrigel). Consistent with the phenotype, knock-out of GPRC5A correlated with a reduced integrin beta 1 (ITGB1) protein expression, impaired phosphorylation of the focal adhesion kinase (FAK), and lower activity of small GTPases RhoA and Rac1. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence for a direct interaction between GPRC5A and a receptor tyrosine kinase EphA2, an upstream regulator of FAK, although its contribution to the observed adhesion phenotype is unclear. Our findings reveal an unprecedented role for GPRC5A in regulation of the ITGB1-mediated cell adhesion and it's downstream signaling, thus indicating a potential novel role for GPRC5A in human epithelial cancers.
  • Chronopoulos, Antonios; Thorpe, Stephen D.; Cortes, Ernesto; Lachowski, Dariusz; Rice, Alistair J.; Mykuliak, Vasyl V.; Rog, Tomasz; Lee, David A.; Hytönen, Vesa P.; Hernandez, Armando E. del Rio (2020)
    A mechanism of cell response to localized tension shows that syndecan-4 synergizes with EGFR to elicit a mechanosignalling cascade that leads to adaptive cell stiffening through PI3K/kindlin-2 mediated integrin activation. Extensive research over the past decades has identified integrins to be the primary transmembrane receptors that enable cells to respond to external mechanical cues. We reveal here a mechanism whereby syndecan-4 tunes cell mechanics in response to localized tension via a coordinated mechanochemical signalling response that involves activation of two other receptors: epidermal growth factor receptor and beta 1 integrin. Tension on syndecan-4 induces cell-wide activation of the kindlin-2/beta 1 integrin/RhoA axis in a PI3K-dependent manner. Furthermore, syndecan-4-mediated tension at the cell-extracellular matrix interface is required for yes-associated protein activation. Extracellular tension on syndecan-4 triggers a conformational change in the cytoplasmic domain, the variable region of which is indispensable for the mechanical adaptation to force, facilitating the assembly of a syndecan-4/alpha-actinin/F-actin molecular scaffold at the bead adhesion. This mechanotransduction pathway for syndecan-4 should have immediate implications for the broader field of mechanobiology.
  • Rahikainen, Rolle; Öhman, Tiina; Turkki, Paula; Varjosalo, Markku; Hytönen, Vesa P. (2019)
    Talin protein is one of the key components in integrin-mediated adhesion complexes. Talins transmit mechanical forces between beta-integrin and actin, and regulate adhesion complex composition and signaling through the force-regulated unfolding of talin rod domain. Using modified talin proteins, we demonstrate that these functions contribute to different cellular processes and can be dissected. The transmission of mechanical forces regulates adhesion complex composition and phosphotyrosine signaling even in the absence of the mechanically regulated talin rod subdomains. However, the presence of the rod subdomains and their mechanical activation are required for the reinforcement of the adhesion complex, cell polarization and migration. Talin rod domain unfolding was also found to be essential for the generation of cellular signaling anisotropy, since both insufficient and excess activity of the rod domain severely inhibited cell polarization. Utilizing proteomics tools, we identified adhesome components that are recruited and activated either in a talin rod-dependent manner or independently of the rod subdomains. This study clarifies the division of roles between the force-regulated unfolding of a talin protein (talin 1) and its function as a physical linker between integrins and the cytoskeleton.
  • Lehtimaki, Jaakko I.; Fenix, Aidan M.; Kotila, Tommi M.; Balistreri, Giuseppe; Paavolainen, Lassi; Varjosalo, Markku; Burnette, Dylan T.; Lappalainen, Pekka (2017)
    Contractile actomyosin bundles, stress fibers, are crucial for adhesion, morphogenesis, and mechanosensing in nonmuscle cells. However, the mechanisms by which nonmuscle myosin II (NM-II) is recruited to those structures and assembled into functional bipolar filaments have remained elusive. We report that UNC-45a is a dynamic component of actin stress fibers and functions as a myosin chaperone in vivo. UNC-45a knockout cells display severe defects in stress fiber assembly and consequent abnormalities in cell morphogenesis, polarity, and migration. Experiments combining structured-illumination microscopy, gradient centrifugation, and proteasome inhibition approaches revealed that a large fraction of NM-II and myosin-1c molecules fail to fold in the absence of UNC-45a. The remaining properly folded NM-II molecules display defects in forming functional bipolar filaments. The C-terminal UNC-45/Cro1/She4p domain of UNC-45a is critical for NM-II folding, whereas the N-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat domain contributes to the assembly of functional stress fibers. Thus, UNC-45a promotes generation of contractile actomyosin bundles through synchronized NM-II folding and filament-assembly activities.