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  • Vinculin forms a directionally asymmetric catch bond with F-actin SCIENCE Huang, D. L., Bax, N. A., Buckley, C. D., Weis, W. I., Dunn, A. R. 2017; 357 (6352): 703–6

    Abstract

    Vinculin is an actin-binding protein thought to reinforce cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions. However, how mechanical load affects the vinculin-F-actin bond is unclear. Using a single-molecule optical trap assay, we found that vinculin forms a force-dependent catch bond with F-actin through its tail domain, but with lifetimes that depend strongly on the direction of the applied force. Force toward the pointed (-) end of the actin filament resulted in a bond that was maximally stable at 8 piconewtons, with a mean lifetime (12 seconds) 10 times as long as the mean lifetime when force was applied toward the barbed (+) end. A computational model of lamellipodial actin dynamics suggests that the directionality of the vinculin-F-actin bond could establish long-range order in the actin cytoskeleton. The directional and force-stabilized binding of vinculin to F-actin may be a mechanism by which adhesion complexes maintain front-rear asymmetry in migrating cells.

    View details for PubMedID 28818948