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  • Spatial distribution of cell-cell and cell-ECM adhesions regulates force balance while maintaining E-cadherin molecular tension in cell pairs MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL Sim, J. Y., Moeller, J., Hart, K. C., Ramallo, D., Vogel, V., Dunn, A. R., Nelson, W. J., Pruitt, B. L. 2015; 26 (13): 2456-2465


    Mechanical linkage between cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesions regulates cell shape changes during embryonic development and tissue homoeostasis. We examined how the force balance between cell-cell and cell-ECM adhesions changes with cell spread area and aspect ratio in pairs of MDCK cells. We used ECM micropatterning to drive different cytoskeleton strain energy states and cell-generated traction forces and used a Förster resonance energy transfer tension biosensor to ask whether changes in forces across cell-cell junctions correlated with E-cadherin molecular tension. We found that continuous peripheral ECM adhesions resulted in increased cell-cell and cell-ECM forces with increasing spread area. In contrast, confining ECM adhesions to the distal ends of cell-cell pairs resulted in shorter junction lengths and constant cell-cell forces. Of interest, each cell within a cell pair generated higher strain energies than isolated single cells of the same spread area. Surprisingly, E-cadherin molecular tension remained constant regardless of changes in cell-cell forces and was evenly distributed along cell-cell junctions independent of cell spread area and total traction forces. Taken together, our results showed that cell pairs maintained constant E-cadherin molecular tension and regulated total forces relative to cell spread area and shape but independently of total focal adhesion area.

    View details for DOI 10.1091/mbc.E14-12-1618

    View details for Web of Science ID 000357053400006

    View details for PubMedID 25971797

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4571300