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      Cell Shape, Cytoskeletal Tension, and RhoA Regulate Stem Cell Lineage Commitment

      , , , ,

      Developmental Cell

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Commitment of stem cells to different lineages is regulated by many cues in the local tissue microenvironment. Here we demonstrate that cell shape regulates commitment of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to adipocyte or osteoblast fate. hMSCs allowed to adhere, flatten, and spread underwent osteogenesis, while unspread, round cells became adipocytes. Cell shape regulated the switch in lineage commitment by modulating endogenous RhoA activity. Expressing dominant-negative RhoA committed hMSCs to become adipocytes, while constitutively active RhoA caused osteogenesis. However, the RhoA-mediated adipogenesis or osteogenesis was conditional on a round or spread shape, respectively, while constitutive activation of the RhoA effector, ROCK, induced osteogenesis independent of cell shape. This RhoA-ROCK commitment signal required actin-myosin-generated tension. These studies demonstrate that mechanical cues experienced in developmental and adult contexts, embodied by cell shape, cytoskeletal tension, and RhoA signaling, are integral to the commitment of stem cell fate.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Cell adhesion: the molecular basis of tissue architecture and morphogenesis.

           B Gumbiner (1996)
          A variety of cell adhesion mechanisms underlie the way that cells are organized in tissues. Stable cell interactions are needed to maintain the structural integrity of tissues, and dynamic changes in cell adhesion participate in the morphogenesis of developing tissues. Stable interactions actually require active adhesion mechanisms that are very similar to those involved in tissue dynamics. Adhesion mechanisms are highly regulated during tissue morphogenesis and are intimately related to the processes of cell motility and cell migration. In particular, the cadherins and the integrins have been implicated in the control of cell movement. Cadherin mediated cell compaction and cellular rearrangements may be analogous to integrin-mediated cell spreading and motility on the ECM. Regulation of cell adhesion can occur at several levels, including affinity modulation, clustering, and coordinated interactions with the actin cytoskeleton. Structural studies have begun to provide a picture of how the binding properties of adhesion receptors themselves might be regulated. However, regulation of tissue morphogenesis requires complex interactions between the adhesion receptors, the cytoskeleton, and networks of signaling pathways. Signals generated locally by the adhesion receptors themselves are involved in the regulation of cell adhesion. These regulatory pathways are also influenced by extrinsic signals arising from the classic growth factor receptors. Furthermore, signals generated locally be adhesion junctions can interact with classic signal transduction pathways to help control cell growth and differentiation. This coupling between physical adhesion and developmental signaling provides a mechanism to tightly integrate physical aspects of tissue morphogenesis with cell growth and differentiation, a coordination that is essential to achieve the intricate patterns of cells in tissues.
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            Focal Contacts as Mechanosensors

            The transition of cell–matrix adhesions from the initial punctate focal complexes into the mature elongated form, known as focal contacts, requires GTPase Rho activity. In particular, activation of myosin II–driven contractility by a Rho target known as Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) was shown to be essential for focal contact formation. To dissect the mechanism of Rho-dependent induction of focal contacts and to elucidate the role of cell contractility, we applied mechanical force to vinculin-containing dot-like adhesions at the cell edge using a micropipette. Local centripetal pulling led to local assembly and elongation of these structures and to their development into streak-like focal contacts, as revealed by the dynamics of green fluorescent protein–tagged vinculin or paxillin and interference reflection microscopy. Inhibition of Rho activity by C3 transferase suppressed this force-induced focal contact formation. However, constitutively active mutants of another Rho target, the formin homology protein mDia1 (Watanabe, N., T. Kato, A. Fujita, T. Ishizaki, and S. Narumiya. 1999. Nat. Cell Biol. 1:136–143), were sufficient to restore force-induced focal contact formation in C3 transferase-treated cells. Force-induced formation of the focal contacts still occurred in cells subjected to myosin II and ROCK inhibition. Thus, as long as mDia1 is active, external tension force bypasses the requirement for ROCK-mediated myosin II contractility in the induction of focal contacts. Our experiments show that integrin-containing focal complexes behave as individual mechanosensors exhibiting directional assembly in response to local force.
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              Ras proteins: different signals from different locations.

               F Hancock (2003)
              Ras signalling has classically been thought to occur exclusively at the inner surface of a relatively uniform plasma membrane. Recent studies have shown that Ras proteins interact dynamically with specific microdomains of the plasma membrane as well as with other internal cell membranes. These different membrane microenvironments modulate Ras signal output and highlight the complex interplay between Ras location and function.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Developmental Cell
                Developmental Cell
                Elsevier BV
                15345807
                April 2004
                April 2004
                : 6
                : 4
                : 483-495
                Article
                10.1016/S1534-5807(04)00075-9
                15068789
                © 2004

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

                https://www.elsevier.com/open-access/userlicense/1.0/

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