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In JoVE (1)
- Biophysical Assays to Probe the Mechanical Properties of the Interphase Cell Nucleus: Substrate Strain Application and Microneedle Manipulation
Other Publications (6)
Articles by Maria L. Lombardi in JoVE
Biophysical Assays to Probe the Mechanical Properties of the Interphase Cell Nucleus: Substrate Strain Application and Microneedle Manipulation
Maria L. Lombardi1, Monika Zwerger1, Jan Lammerding1,2
1Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, 2Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology & Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
We present two independent, microscope-based tools to measure the induced nuclear and cytoskeletal deformations in single, living adherent cells in response to global or localized strain application. These techniques are used to determine nuclear stiffness (i.e., deformability) and to probe intracellular force transmission between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton.
Other articles by Maria L. Lombardi on PubMed
Clinical Cancer Research : an Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Apr, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16638848
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 was identified as an independent predictor of poor prognosis in primary melanoma. The aim of the study was to investigate the role of CXCR4 in human melanoma metastases.
Traction Force Microscopy in Dictyostelium Reveals Distinct Roles for Myosin II Motor and Actin-crosslinking Activity in Polarized Cell Movement
Journal of Cell Science. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17452624
Continuous cell movement requires the coordination of protrusive forces at the leading edge with contractile forces at the rear of the cell. Myosin II is required to generate the necessary contractile force to facilitate retraction; however, Dictyostelium cells that lack myosin II (mhcA-) are still motile. To directly investigate the role of myosin II in contractility we used a gelatin traction force assay to measure the magnitude and dynamic redistribution of traction stresses generated by randomly moving wild-type, myosin II essential light chain null (mlcE-) and mhcA- cells. Our data show that for each cell type, periods of rapid, directed cell movement occur when an asymmetrical distribution of traction stress is present, in which traction stresses at the rear are significantly higher than those at the front. We found that the major determinants of cell speed are the rate and frequency at which traction stress asymmetry develops, not the absolute magnitude of traction stress. We conclude that traction stress asymmetry is important for rapid, polarized cell movement because high traction stresses at the rear promote retraction, whereas low traction at the front allows protrusion. We propose that myosin II motor activity increases the rate and frequency at which traction stress asymmetry develops, whereas actin crosslinking activity is important for stabilizing it.
Transplant Immunology. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18047939
The evidence for HLA-Cw antigens' involvement in the modulation of the immune response in bone marrow transplantation, NK alloreactivity and the susceptibility and follow-up for different diseases has been growing in the recent years, but very few data on HLA-Cw distribution in healthy Italian subjects are available to date. This report presents an updated description of HLA-Cw frequencies in Italy, comparing data from the northern (Lombardia) and southern (Campania and Puglia) parts of the country. A total of 1101 healthy subjects of Italian origin were genotyped, and the results showed that HLA-Cw*04, Cw*07, Cw*12, and, in particular, Cw*0401, Cw*0701, Cw*1203, were the most frequent alleles found in all three regions analysed. Nevertheless, statistically significant differences were observed in Cw*07 distribution, which was more frequent in the southern than in the northern part of Italy (28.8% vs 22.4%; p=0.001; OR: 1.4; 95%CI: 1.14-1.73), and in Cw*12 distribution, which was more frequent in the north than the south (17.0% vs 12.4%; p=0.007, OR: 1.4; 95%CI: 1.10-1.91). These results, which give an improved pattern of distribution of HLA-Cw alleles in the Italian population, would be useful in bone marrow transplantation and anthropological studies. Moreover, due to the important role of HLA-Cw antigens in modulation of the immune response and NK alloreactivity, these data would be of interest in studies on susceptibility, follow-up and/or protection against different diseases.
The Interaction Between Nesprins and Sun Proteins at the Nuclear Envelope is Critical for Force Transmission Between the Nucleus and Cytoskeleton
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21652697
Maintaining physical connections between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton is important for many cellular processes that require coordinated movement and positioning of the nucleus. Nucleo-cytoskeletal coupling is also necessary to transmit extracellular mechanical stimuli across the cytoskeleton to the nucleus, where they may initiate mechanotransduction events. The LINC (Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton) complex, formed by the interaction of nesprins and SUN proteins at the nuclear envelope, can bind to nuclear and cytoskeletal elements; however, its functional importance in transmitting intracellular forces has never been directly tested. This question is particularly relevant since recent findings have linked nesprin mutations to muscular dystrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy. Using biophysical assays to assess intracellular force transmission and associated cellular functions, we identified the LINC complex as a critical component for nucleo-cytoskeletal force transmission. Disruption of the LINC complex caused impaired propagation of intracellular forces and disturbed organization of the perinuclear actin and intermediate filament networks. Although mechanically induced activation of mechanosensitive genes was normal (suggesting that nuclear deformation is not required for mechanotransduction signaling) cells exhibited other severe functional defects after LINC complex disruption; nuclear positioning and cell polarization were impaired in migrating cells and in cells plated on micropatterned substrates, and cell migration speed and persistence time were significantly reduced. Taken together, our findings suggest that the LINC complex is critical for nucleo-cytoskeletal force transmission and that LINC complex disruption can result in defects in cellular structure and function that may contribute to the development of muscular dystrophies and cardiomyopathies.
Nature Nanotechnology. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21765401
The ability to explore cell signalling and cell-to-cell communication is essential for understanding cell biology and developing effective therapeutics. However, it is not yet possible to monitor the interaction of cells with their environments in real time. Here, we show that a fluorescent sensor attached to a cell membrane can detect signalling molecules in the cellular environment. The sensor is an aptamer (a short length of single-stranded DNA) that binds to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and contains a pair of fluorescent dyes. When bound to PDGF, the aptamer changes conformation and the dyes come closer to each other, producing a signal. The sensor, which is covalently attached to the membranes of mesenchymal stem cells, can quantitatively detect with high spatial and temporal resolution PDGF that is added in cell culture medium or secreted by neighbouring cells. The engineered stem cells retain their ability to find their way to the bone marrow and can be monitored in vivo at the single-cell level using intravital microscopy.
Keeping the LINC: the Importance of Nucleocytoskeletal Coupling in Intracellular Force Transmission and Cellular Function
Biochemical Society Transactions. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22103516
Providing a stable physical connection between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton is essential for a wide range of cellular functions and it could also participate in mechanosensing by transmitting intra- and extra-cellular mechanical stimuli via the cytoskeleton to the nucleus. Nesprins and SUN proteins, located at the nuclear envelope, form the LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complex that connects the nucleus to the cytoskeleton; underlying nuclear lamins contribute to anchoring LINC complex components at the nuclear envelope. Disruption of the LINC complex or loss of lamins can result in disturbed perinuclear actin and intermediate filament networks and causes severe functional defects, including impaired nuclear positioning, cell polarization and cell motility. Recent studies have identified the LINC complex as the major force-transmitting element at the nuclear envelope and suggest that many of the aforementioned defects can be attributed to disturbed force transmission between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton. Thus mutations in nesprins, SUN proteins or lamins, which have been linked to muscular dystrophies and cardiomyopathies, may weaken or completely eliminate LINC complex function at the nuclear envelope and result in impaired intracellular force transmission, thereby disrupting critical cellular functions.