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      Spatial organization of the extracellular matrix regulates cell-cell junction positioning.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
      Cell Line, Tumor, Extracellular Matrix, physiology, Humans, Intercellular Junctions

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          Abstract

          The organization of cells into epithelium depends on cell interaction with both the extracellular matrix (ECM) and adjacent cells. The role of cell-cell adhesion in the regulation of epithelial topology is well-described. ECM is better known to promote cell migration and provide a structural scaffold for cell anchoring, but its contribution to multicellular morphogenesis is less well-understood. We developed a minimal model system to investigate how ECM affects the spatial organization of intercellular junctions. Fibronectin micropatterns were used to constrain the location of cell-ECM adhesion. We found that ECM affects the degree of stability of intercellular junction positioning and the magnitude of intra- and intercellular forces. Intercellular junctions were permanently displaced, and experienced large perpendicular tensional forces as long as they were positioned close to ECM. They remained stable solely in regions deprived of ECM, where they were submitted to lower tensional forces. The heterogeneity of the spatial organization of ECM induced anisotropic distribution of mechanical constraints in cells, which seemed to adapt their position to minimize both intra- and intercellular forces. These results uncover a morphogenetic role for ECM in the mechanical regulation of cells and intercellular junction positioning.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          22307605
          3277177
          10.1073/pnas.1106377109

          Chemistry
          Cell Line, Tumor,Extracellular Matrix,physiology,Humans,Intercellular Junctions
          Chemistry
          Cell Line, Tumor, Extracellular Matrix, physiology, Humans, Intercellular Junctions

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