All Publications

  • Curved adhesions mediate cell attachment to soft matrix fibres in three dimensions. Nature cell biology Zhang, W., Lu, C. H., Nakamoto, M. L., Tsai, C. T., Roy, A. R., Lee, C. E., Yang, Y., Jahed, Z., Li, X., Cui, B. 2023


    Integrin-mediated focal adhesions are the primary architectures that transmit forces between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the actin cytoskeleton. Although focal adhesions are abundant on rigid and flat substrates that support high mechanical tensions, they are sparse in soft three-dimensional (3D) environments. Here we report curvature-dependent integrin-mediated adhesions called curved adhesions. Their formation is regulated by the membrane curvatures imposed by the topography of ECM protein fibres. Curved adhesions are mediated by integrin ɑvβ5 and are molecularly distinct from focal adhesions and clathrin lattices. The molecular mechanism involves a previously unknown interaction between integrin β5 and a curvature-sensing protein, FCHo2. We find that curved adhesions are prevalent in physiological conditions, and disruption of curved adhesions inhibits the migration of some cancer cell lines in 3D fibre matrices. These findings provide a mechanism for cell anchorage to natural protein fibres and suggest that curved adhesions may serve as a potential therapeutic target.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41556-023-01238-1

    View details for PubMedID 37770566

    View details for PubMedCentralID 6449687

  • Expansion microscopy for imaging the cell-material interface. Biophysical journal Nakamoto, M. L., Forro, C., Zhang, W., Tsai, C., Cui, B. 2023; 122 (3S1): 133a

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpj.2022.11.883

    View details for PubMedID 36782597

  • Expansion Microscopy for Imaging the Cell-Material Interface. ACS nano Nakamoto, M. L., Forro, C., Zhang, W., Tsai, C., Cui, B. 2022


    Surface topography on the scale of tens of nanometers to several micrometers substantially affects cell adhesion, migration, and differentiation. Recent studies using electron microscopy and super-resolution microscopy provide insight into how cells interact with surface nanotopography; however, the complex sample preparation and expensive imaging equipment required for these methods makes them not easily accessible. Expansion microscopy (ExM) is an affordable approach to image beyond the diffraction limit, but ExM cannot be readily applied to image the cell-material interface as most materials do not expand. Here, we develop a protocol that allows the use of ExM to resolve the cell-material interface with high resolution. We apply the technique to image the interface between U2OS cells and nanostructured substrates as well as the interface between primary osteoblasts with titanium dental implants. The high spatial resolution enabled by ExM reveals that although AP2 and F-actin both accumulate at curved membranes induced by vertical nanostructures, they are spatially segregated. Using ExM, we also reliably image how osteoblasts interact with roughened titanium implant surfaces below the diffraction limit; this is of great interest to understand osseointegration of the implants but has up to now been a significant technical challenge due to the irregular shape, the large volume, and the opacity of the titanium implants that have rendered them incompatible with other super-resolution techniques. We believe that our protocol will enable the use of ExM as a powerful tool for cell-material interface studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.1c11015

    View details for PubMedID 35533401

  • Membrane curvature regulates the spatial distribution of bulky glycoproteins NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Lu, C., Pedram, K., Tsai, C., Jones IV, T., Li, X., Nakamoto, M. L., Bertozzi, C. R., Cui, B. 2022; 13