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      Myosin II activity regulates vinculin recruitment to focal adhesions through FAK-mediated paxillin phosphorylation

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          Abstract

          FAK-mediated myosin-dependent paxillin phosphorylation is necessary to bring vinculin to maturing focal adhesions, reinforcing the link between the cytoskeleton and the ECM.

          Abstract

          Focal adhesions (FAs) are mechanosensitive adhesion and signaling complexes that grow and change composition in response to myosin II–mediated cytoskeletal tension in a process known as FA maturation. To understand tension-mediated FA maturation, we sought to identify proteins that are recruited to FAs in a myosin II–dependent manner and to examine the mechanism for their myosin II–sensitive FA association. We find that FA recruitment of both the cytoskeletal adapter protein vinculin and the tyrosine kinase FA kinase (FAK) are myosin II and extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness dependent. Myosin II activity promotes FAK/Src-mediated phosphorylation of paxillin on tyrosines 31 and 118 and vinculin association with paxillin. We show that phosphomimic mutations of paxillin can specifically induce the recruitment of vinculin to adhesions independent of myosin II activity. These results reveal an important role for paxillin in adhesion mechanosensing via myosin II–mediated FAK phosphorylation of paxillin that promotes vinculin FA recruitment to reinforce the cytoskeletal ECM linkage and drive FA maturation.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification.

          Microenvironments appear important in stem cell lineage specification but can be difficult to adequately characterize or control with soft tissues. Naive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are shown here to specify lineage and commit to phenotypes with extreme sensitivity to tissue-level elasticity. Soft matrices that mimic brain are neurogenic, stiffer matrices that mimic muscle are myogenic, and comparatively rigid matrices that mimic collagenous bone prove osteogenic. During the initial week in culture, reprogramming of these lineages is possible with addition of soluble induction factors, but after several weeks in culture, the cells commit to the lineage specified by matrix elasticity, consistent with the elasticity-insensitive commitment of differentiated cell types. Inhibition of nonmuscle myosin II blocks all elasticity-directed lineage specification-without strongly perturbing many other aspects of cell function and shape. The results have significant implications for understanding physical effects of the in vivo microenvironment and also for therapeutic uses of stem cells.
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            Environmental sensing through focal adhesions.

            Recent progress in the design and application of artificial cellular microenvironments and nanoenvironments has revealed the extraordinary ability of cells to adjust their cytoskeletal organization, and hence their shape and motility, to minute changes in their immediate surroundings. Integrin-based adhesion complexes, which are tightly associated with the actin cytoskeleton, comprise the cellular machinery that recognizes not only the biochemical diversity of the extracellular neighbourhood, but also its physical and topographical characteristics, such as pliability, dimensionality and ligand spacing. Here, we discuss the mechanisms of such environmental sensing, based on the finely tuned crosstalk between the assembly of one type of integrin-based adhesion complex, namely focal adhesions, and the forces that are at work in the associated cytoskeletal network owing to actin polymerization and actomyosin contraction.
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              Local force and geometry sensing regulate cell functions.

              The shapes of eukaryotic cells and ultimately the organisms that they form are defined by cycles of mechanosensing, mechanotransduction and mechanoresponse. Local sensing of force or geometry is transduced into biochemical signals that result in cell responses even for complex mechanical parameters such as substrate rigidity and cell-level form. These responses regulate cell growth, differentiation, shape changes and cell death. Recent tissue scaffolds that have been engineered at the micro- and nanoscale level now enable better dissection of the mechanosensing, transduction and response mechanisms.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Cell Biol
                J. Cell Biol
                jcb
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0021-9525
                1540-8140
                22 March 2010
                : 188
                : 6
                : 877-890
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892
                [2 ]Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
                [3 ]Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and [4 ]Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011
                [5 ]Moores Cancer Center and [6 ]Department of Reproductive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093
                [7 ]Physiology Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Clare M. Waterman: watermancm@ 123456nhlbi.nih.gov
                Article
                200906012
                10.1083/jcb.200906012
                2845065
                20308429
                © 2010 The Rockefeller University Press

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

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