Authors Pompe, T. ; Glorius, S. ; Bischoff, T. ; Uhlmann, I. ; Kaufmann, M. ; Brenner, S. ; Werner, C.
Title Dissecting the impact of matrix anchorage and elasticity in cell adhesion
Date 29.10.2009
Abstract Extracellular matrices determine cellular fate decisions through the regulation of intracellular force and stress. Previous studies suggest that matrix stiffness and ligand anchorage cause distinct signaling effects. We show herein how defined noncovalent anchorage of adhesion ligands to elastic substrates allows for dissection of intracellular adhesion signaling pathways related to matrix stiffness and receptor forces. Quantitative analysis of the mechanical balance in cell adhesion using traction force microscopy revealed distinct scalings of the strain energy imparted by the cells on the substrates dependent either on matrix stiffness or on receptor force. Those scalings suggested the applicability of a linear elastic theoretical framework for the description of cell adhesion in a certain parameter range, which is cell-type-dependent. Besides the deconvolution of biophysical adhesion signaling, site-specific phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, dependent either on matrix stiffness or on receptor force, also demonstrated the dissection of biochemical signaling events in our approach. Moreover, the net contractile moment of the adherent cells and their strain energy exerted on the elastic substrate was found to be a robust measure of cell adhesion with a unifying power-law scaling exponent of 1.5 independent of matrix stiffness.
Journal Biophysical Journal 97 (2009) 2154-2163

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