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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (16)
- Journal of Cell Science
- Developmental Biology
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- The International Journal of Developmental Biology
- International Journal of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer
- Developmental Biology
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
- Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists
- HFSP Journal
- Biophysical Journal
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- PloS One
- PloS One
- American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Articles by Ramsey Foty in JoVE
A Simple Hanging Drop Cell Culture Protocol for Generation of 3D Spheroids
Department of Surgery, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
We describe a simple, rapid method of generating 3D tissue-like spheroids and their potential application to quantify differences in cell-cell interactions.
Other articles by Ramsey Foty on PubMed
Journal of Cell Science. Jan, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12482923
Integrins and cadherins are considered to have distinct and opposing functions. Integrins are traditionally cited for their role in cell-substratum interactions, whereas cadherins are thought to mediate strong intercellular cohesion. Together, these adhesion systems play crucial roles in a wide variety of cellular and developmental processes including cell migration, morphology, differentiation and proliferation. In this manuscript we present evidence that integrins possess the ability to mediate strong intercellular cohesion when cells are grown as 3D aggregates. Much of the data elucidating the role of integrins as mediators of cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions have been generated using conventional cell culture techniques in which cells are plated onto ECM-coated 2D surfaces. In vivo, cells are embedded in a 3D meshwork of ECM proteins. We hypothesized that, within this meshwork, integrin-ECM interactions may impart cohesivity to an aggregate of cells by linking adjacent cells together. To test this hypothesis, we transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-B2) cells to express alpha5beta1 integrin and found that these cells formed compact, spherical aggregates. We measured aggregate cohesivity using tissue surface tensiometry, a novel technique that quantifies cell-cell cohesivity of spheroids under physiological conditions. We determined that alpha5beta1 integrin is capable of conferring strong cohesivity (sigma=8.22+/-0.68 dynes/cm) to aggregates of alpha5-integrin-transfected cells. This cohesion was found to be independent of cadherin expression and was significantly greater than the cohesivity conferred onto CHO-B2 cells transfected with N-cadherin (sigma=3.14+/-0.20 dynes/cm, P=0.0001), a more traditional cell-cell cohesion system. Fibronectin-null CHO cells that express alpha5beta1 integrin but do not secrete endogenous fibronectin do not form aggregates in fibronectin-depleted medium. Addition of increasing amounts of exogenous dimeric fibronectin to these cells resulted in a dose-dependent compaction. However, compaction failed to occur in the presence of fibronectin monomers. These data indicate that fibronectin is required for alpha5beta1-mediated compaction and that the dimeric structure of fibronectin is essential for this process. Additionally, aggregate formation of the alpha5 integrin transfectants was inhibited by an RGD peptide thus confirming alpha5beta1 integrin specificity. Collectively, these data confirm our hypothesis that alpha5beta1 integrin acts through fibronectin to link adjacent cells together, thus promoting strong intercellular cohesion in 3D cellular aggregates.
Developmental Biology. Jan, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12645933
It is widely held that segregation of tissues expressing different cadherins results from cadherin-subtype-specific binding specificities. This belief is based largely upon assays in which cells expressing different cadherin subtypes aggregate separately when shaken in suspension. In various combinations of L cells expressing NCAM, E-, P-, N-, R-, or B-cadherin, coaggregation occurred when shear forces were low or absent but could be selectively inhibited by high shear forces. Cells expressing P- vs E-cadherin coaggregated and then demixed, one population enveloping the other completely. To distinguish whether this demixing was due to differences in cadherin affinities or expression levels, the latter were varied systematically. Cells expressing either cadherin at a lower level became the enveloping layer, as predicted by the Differential Adhesion Hypothesis. However, when cadherin expression levels were equalized, cells expressing P- vs E-cadherin remained intermixed. In this combination, "homocadherin" (E-E; P-P) and "heterocadherin" (E-P) adhesions must therefore be of similar strength. Cells expressing R- vs B-cadherin coaggregated but demixed to produce configurations of incomplete envelopment. This signifies that R- to B-cadherin adhesions must be weaker than either "homocadherin" adhesion. Together, cadherin quantity and affinity control tissue segregation and assembly through specification of the relative intensities of mature cell-cell adhesions.
Molecular Biology of the Cell. Mar, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 14718567
Integrin-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions in two-dimensional (2D) culture systems are widely studied (Goldstein and DiMilla, 2002. J Biomed. Mater. Res. 59, 665-675; Koo et al., 2002. J. Cell Sci. 115, 1423-1433). Less understood is the role of the ECM in promoting intercellular cohesion in three-dimensional (3D) environments. We have demonstrated that the alpha5beta1-integrin mediates strong intercellular cohesion of 3D cellular aggregates (Robinson et al., 2003. J. Cell Sci. 116, 377-386). To further investigate the mechanism of alpha5beta1-mediated cohesivity, we used a series of chimeric alpha5beta1-integrin-expressing cells cultured as multilayer cellular aggregates. In these cell lines, the alpha5 subunit cytoplasmic domain distal to the GFFKR sequence was truncated, replaced with that of the integrin alpha4, the integrin alpha2, or maintained intact. Using these cells, alpha5beta1-integrin-mediated cell aggregation, compaction and cohesion were determined and correlated with FN matrix assembly. The data presented demonstrate that cells cultured in the absence of external mechanical support can assemble a FN matrix that promotes integrin-mediated aggregate compaction and cohesion. Further, inhibition of FN matrix assembly blocks the intercellular associations required for compaction, resulting in cell dispersal. These results demonstrate that FN matrix assembly contributes significantly to tissue cohesion and represents an alternative mechanism for regulating tissue architecture.
The International Journal of Developmental Biology. 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15349815
We review evidence concerning the basis for tissue segregation during embryonic development. This compartmentalization is shown to be an immiscibility phenomenon caused by changes in the strengths of adhesions between mobile cells which accompany their differentiation and generate interfacial tensions at cell population boundaries. The mobile cells exchange neighbors in response to these adhesion-generated forces which impel the system toward the configuration of maximal binding. Cadherins dominate these intercellular adhesions, but integrin-fibronectin-based adhesions also contribute to them as well as to cell-matrix adhesions. At the interface between two segregating cell populations are three kinds of cell-cell interfaces: a-a, b-b and a-b. Tissue immiscibility (segregation) results when the cross-adhesion is weaker than the mean value of the two kinds of self-adhesions, does not require (although it permits) qualitative changes in cell adhesion molecules and is easily generated even by moderate changes in the quantities of adhesion molecules on the cell surfaces. All type I and II cadherins tested cross-adhere, in most cases with strengths close to those of their self-adhesions. Is malignant invasion a process of cell segregation in reverse, in which the cross-adhesion between cancer cells and host tissue components is strong relative to their self-adhesions? We review evidence for cadherin involvement in breast, prostate and brain cancers. Despite evidence that N-cadherin enhances the invasiveness of certain cancer cells, we have found that increasing the expression not only of functional E-cadherin but also of P- or N-cadherin restrains the spreading of other malignant cell lines over (and through) a reconstituted extracellular matrix.
International Journal of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer. Apr, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15551307
An advantage of using 3D multicellular spheres to study tumor biology is that they better approximate the interactions encountered by cells in vivo. Our previous studies have shown that the process of spheroid formation is governed by the same thermodynamic principles driving the formation of liquid droplets. This liquid-like behavior enables us to measure a key property influencing tumor behavior, namely, intercellular cohesion. We have developed a method, tissue surface tensiometry (TST), to measure the cohesivity, expressible as surface tension (sigma), of tissue aggregates under physiologic conditions. This study utilizes TST to measure the cohesivity of 3 widely used malignant astrocytoma cell lines of different in vitro invasive potentials. We compare invasiveness with aggregate cohesivity and with the expression of N-cadherin, a key mediator of cell-cell cohesion in neural tissues. We show that the cell lines exhibit liquid-like behavior since they form spheroids whose surface tension is both force- and volume-independent; that aggregates from each cell line have a distinct surface tension that correlates with their in vitro invasive capacity; that dexamethasone (Dex), a widely used therapeutic agent for the treatment of tumor-related cerebral edema, increases aggregate cohesivity and decreases invasiveness; that dexamethasone treatment decreases invasion in a dose-dependent manner but only when cells are in direct contact with one another; and that dex-mediated decreased invasiveness correlates with increased aggregate cohesivity as measured by TST but not with N-cadherin expression or function. Our results demonstrate that for these cell lines, cohesivity is an excellent predictor of in vitro invasiveness.
Developmental Biology. Feb, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15649477
The differential adhesion hypothesis (DAH), advanced in the 1960s, proposed that the liquid-like tissue-spreading and cell segregation phenomena of development arise from tissue surface tensions that in turn arise from differences in intercellular adhesiveness. Our earlier measurements of liquid-like cell aggregate surface tensions have shown that, without exception, a cell aggregate of lower surface tension tends to envelop one of higher surface tension to which it adheres. We here measure the surface tensions of L cell aggregates transfected to express N-, P- or E-cadherin in varied, measured amounts. We report that in these aggregates, in which cadherins are essentially the only cell-cell adhesion molecules, the aggregate surface tensions are a direct, linear function of cadherin expression level. Taken together with our earlier results, the conclusion follows that the liquid-like morphogenetic cell and tissue rearrangements of cell sorting, tissue spreading and segregation represent self-assembly processes guided by the diminution of adhesive-free energy as cells tend to maximize their mutual binding. This conclusion relates to the physics governing these morphogenetic phenomena and applies independently of issues such as the specificities of intercellular adhesives.
Extracellular Matrix Metalloproteinase Inducer (CD147) Confers Resistance of Breast Cancer Cells to Anoikis Through Inhibition of Bim
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Apr, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16443928
Overexpression of extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN or CD147), a member of the immunoglobulin family and a glycoprotein enriched on the surface of tumor cells, promotes invasion, metastasis, and growth and survival of malignant cells and confers resistance to some chemotherapeutic drugs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of EMMPRIN are not fully understood. In this study we sought to determine whether EMMPRIN contributes to the malignant phenotype of breast cancer by inhibiting anoikis, a form of apoptosis induced by loss or alteration of cell-cell or cell-matrix anchorage, and to explore the signaling pathways involved. We found that in the absence of attachment, human breast carcinoma cells expressing high levels of EMMPRIN formed less compact aggregates with larger surface area and less fibronectin matrix assembly, had higher viability, and were resistant to anoikis. Knockdown of EMMPRIN expression by RNA interference (small interfering RNA or short hairpin RNA) sensitized cancer cells to anoikis, as demonstrated by activation of caspase-3, increased DNA fragmentation, and decreased cellular viability. Furthermore, we observed that the accumulation of Bim, a proapoptotic BH3-only protein, was reduced in EMMPRIN-expressing cells and that silencing of EMMPRIN expression elevated Bim protein levels and enhanced cellular sensitivity to anoikis. Treatment of cells with a MEK inhibitor (U0126) or proteasome inhibitor (epoxomicin) also up-regulated Bim accumulation and rendered cells more sensitive to anoikis. These results indicated that expression of EMMPRIN protects cancer cells from anoikis and that this effect is mediated at least in part by a MAP kinase-dependent reduction of Bim. Because anoikis deficiency is a key feature of neoplastic transformation and invasive growth of epithelial cancer cells, our study on the role of EMMPRIN in anoikis resistance and the mechanism involved underscores the potential of EMMPRIN expression as a prognostic marker and novel target for cancer therapy.
BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16927301
Throughout embryonic development, segregated epithelial and/or mesenchymal cell populations make contact and fuse to shape new tissue units. This process, known as tissue fusion, is a key event in many essential morphogenetic mechanisms and its disruption can lead to congenital malformations. Another mechanism whereby complex tissues can arise involves a cell sorting process in which originally intermixed cells de-mix to generate distinct phases or layers. Different organisms use a combination of tissue fusion and cell sorting to acquire shape. Although the two processes appear to differ mechanistically, they are intricately linked inasmuch as they both involve the same molecular determinants and contribute to the same body plan. We aim to discuss the role of adhesion molecules and cell dynamics in tissue fusion and cell sorting, providing examples of their impact in embryonic development. Finally, we will advance the concept that malignant invasion may be viewed as cell sorting in reverse. Supplementary material for this article can be found on the BioEssays website (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0265-9247/suppmat/index.html).
Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Aug, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17584863
The organization of endocrine cells in pancreatic islets is established through a series of morphogenetic events involving cell sorting, migration, and re-aggregation processes for which intercellular adhesion is thought to play a central role. In animals, these morphogenetic events result in an islet topology in which insulin-secreting cells form the core, while glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide-secreting cells segregate to the periphery. Isolated pancreatic islet cells self-assemble in vitro into pseudoislets with the same cell type organization as native islets. It is widely held that differential adhesion between cells of the pancreatic islets generates this specific topology. However, this differential adhesion has never been rigorously quantified. In this manuscript, we use tissue surface tensiometry to measure the cohesivity of spherical aggregates from three immortalized mouse pancreatic islet cell lines. We show that, as predicted by the differential adhesion hypothesis, aggregates of the internally segregating INS-1 and MIN6 beta-cell lines are substantially more cohesive than those of the externally segregating alpha-TC line. Furthermore, we show that forced overexpression of P-cadherin by alpha-TC cells significantly perturbs the sorting process. Collectively, the data indicate that differential adhesion can drive the in vitro organization of immortalized rodent pancreatic islet cells.
HFSP Journal. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19404452
This study provides direct functional evidence that differential adhesion, measurable as quantitative differences in tissue surface tension, influences spatial positioning between zebrafish germ layer tissues. We show that embryonic ectodermal and mesendodermal tissues generated by mRNA-overexpression behave on long-time scales like immiscible fluids. When mixed in hanging drop culture, their cells segregate into discrete phases with ectoderm adopting an internal position relative to the mesendoderm. The position adopted directly correlates with differences in tissue surface tension. We also show that germ layer tissues from untreated embryos, when extirpated and placed in culture, adopt a configuration similar to those of their mRNA-overexpressing counterparts. Down-regulating E-cadherin expression in the ectoderm leads to reduced surface tension and results in phase reversal with E-cadherin-depleted ectoderm cells now adopting an external position relative to the mesendoderm. These results show that in vitro cell sorting of zebrafish mesendoderm and ectoderm tissues is specified by tissue interfacial tensions. We perform a mathematical analysis indicating that tissue interfacial tension between actively motile cells contributes to the spatial organization and dynamics of these zebrafish germ layers in vivo.
Biophysical Journal. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19686642
We describe a model that simulates spherical cells of different types that can migrate and interact either attractively or repulsively. We find that both expected morphologies and previously unreported patterns spontaneously self-assemble. Among the newly discovered patterns are a segmented state of alternating discs, and a "shish-kebab" state, in which one cell type forms a ring around a second type. We show that these unique states result from cellular attraction that increases with distance (e.g., as membranes stretch viscoelastically), and would not be seen in traditional, e.g., molecular, potentials that diminish with distance. Most of the states found computationally have been observed in vitro, and it remains to be established what role these self-assembled states may play in in vivo morphogenesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20616053
In the course of animal morphogenesis, large-scale cell movements occur, which involve the rearrangement, mutual spreading, and compartmentalization of cell populations in specific configurations. Morphogenetic cell rearrangements such as cell sorting and mutual tissue spreading have been compared with the behaviors of immiscible liquids, which they closely resemble. Based on this similarity, it has been proposed that tissues behave as liquids and possess a characteristic surface tension, which arises as a collective, macroscopic property of groups of mobile, cohering cells. But how are tissue surface tensions generated? Different theories have been proposed to explain how mesoscopic cell properties such as cell-cell adhesion and contractility of cell interfaces may underlie tissue surface tensions. Although recent work suggests that both may be contributors, an explicit model for the dependence of tissue surface tension on these mesoscopic parameters has been missing. Here we show explicitly that the ratio of adhesion to cortical tension determines tissue surface tension. Our minimal model successfully explains the available experimental data and makes predictions, based on the feedback between mechanical energy and geometry, about the shapes of aggregate surface cells, which we verify experimentally. This model indicates that there is a crossover from adhesion dominated to cortical-tension dominated behavior as a function of the ratio between these two quantities.
Alpha5beta1 Integrin-fibronectin Interactions Specify Liquid to Solid Phase Transition of 3D Cellular Aggregates
PloS One. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20686611
Tissue organization during embryonic development and wound healing depends on the ability of cells on the one hand to exchange adhesive bonds during active rearrangement and on the other to become fixed in place as tissue homeostasis is reached. Cells achieve these contradictory tasks by regulating either cell-cell adhesive bonds, mediated by cadherins, or cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) connections, regulated by integrins. Integrin alpha5beta1 and soluble fibronectin (sFN) are key players in cell-ECM force generation and in ECM polymerization. Here, we explore the interplay between integrin alpha5beta1 and sFN and its influence on tissue mechanical properties and cell sorting behavior.
Identification of Immunoreactive Regions of Homology Between Soluble Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and α5-integrin
Biochemistry. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21491912
Proteins encoded by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/HER1/ERBB1) gene are being studied as diagnostic, prognostic, and theragnostic biomarkers for numerous human cancers. The clinical application of these tissue/tumor biomarkers has been limited, in part, by discordant results observed for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression using different immunological reagents. Previous studies have used EGFR-directed antibodies that cannot distinguish between full-length and soluble EGFR (sEGFR) expression. We have generated and characterized an anti-sEGFR polyclonal antiserum directed against a 31-mer peptide (residues 604-634) located within the unique 78-amino acid carboxy-terminal sequence of sEGFR. Here, we use this antibody to demonstrate that sEGFR is coexpressed with EGFR in a number of carcinoma-derived cell lines. In addition, we show that a second protein of ~140 kDa (p140) also is detected by this antibody. Rigorous biochemical characterization identifies this second protein to be α5-integrin. We show that a 26-amino acid peptide in the calf domain of α5-integrin (residues 710-735) is 35% identical in sequence with a 31-mer carboxy-terminal sEGFR peptide and exhibits an approximately 5-fold lower affinity for anti-sEGFR than the homologous 31-mer sEGFR peptide does. We conclude that the carboxy terminus of sEGFR and the calf-1 domain of α5-integrin share a region of sequence identity, which results in their mutual immunological reactivity with anti-sEGFR. We also demonstrate that anti-sEGFR promotes three-dimensional tissue cohesion and compaction in vitro, further suggesting a functional link between sEGFR and α5-integrin and a role of the calf-1 domain in cell adhesion. These results have implications for the study of both EGFR and sEGFR as cancer biomarkers and also provide new insight into the mechanisms of interaction between cell surface EGFR isoforms and integrins in complex processes such as cell adhesion and survival signaling.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21980357
Glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive and most common form of primary brain tumor, has a median survival of 12-15 months. Surgical excision, radiation and chemotherapy are rarely curative since tumor cells broadly disperse within the brain. Preventing dispersal could be of therapeutic benefit. Previous studies have reported that increased cell-cell cohesion can markedly reduce invasion by discouraging cell detachment from the tumor mass. We have previously reported that α5β1 integrin-fibronectin interaction is a powerful mediator of indirect cell-cell cohesion and that the process of fibronectin matrix assembly (FNMA) is crucial to establishing strong bonds between cells in 3D tumor-like spheroids. Here, we explore a potential role for FNMA in preventing dispersal of GBM cells from a tumor-like mass. Using a series of GBM-derived cell lines we developed an in vitro assay to measure the dispersal velocity of aggregates on a solid substrate. Despite their similar pathologic grade, aggregates from these lines spread at markedly different rates. Spreading velocity is inversely proportional to capacity for FNMA and restoring FNMA in GBM cells markedly reduces spreading velocity by keeping cells more connected. Blocking FNMA using the 70 KDa fibronectin fragment in FNMA-restored cells rescues spreading velocity, establishing a functional role for FNMA in mediating dispersal. Collectively, the data support a functional causation between restoration of FNMA and decreased dispersal velocity. This is a first demonstration that FNMA can play a suppressive role in GBM dispersal.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20616358
To identify cell-intrinsic properties that facilitate interaction between epithelial endodermal and mesenchymal mesodermal cells during lung morphogenesis, we developed a model of lung self-assembly that mimics fetal lung formation in structure, polarity, vasculature, and extracellular matrix expression. Three-dimensional pulmonary bodies (PBs) spontaneously self-assemble from single-cell suspensions and exhibit liquid-like properties that allow measurements of compaction rate and cohesion, and that may help to specify cellular self-organization. We hypothesized that changes in one or more of these parameters could potentially explain the lung hypoplasia associated with abnormal lung development. We examined the impact of endothelial/monocyte-activating polypeptide (EMAP) II in PBs, because EMAPII is highly expressed in lung hypoplasia. EMAPII significantly increased compaction rate and decreased overall cohesion of PBs composed of both epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Moreover, the effects of EMAPII on compaction and cohesion act exclusively through the mesenchymal cell population by interfering with fibronectin matrix assembly. We also show that EMAPII alters epithelial cell polarity and surfactant protein C expression. Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, that PBs possess liquid-like properties that can help to guide the self-assembly of fetal lungs, and that EMAPII expression can influence both mesenchymal and epithelial cells but through different molecular mechanisms.