Actomyosin-driven force patterning controls endocytosis at the immune synapse

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Anita KumariPaolo Pierobon


An important channel of cell-to-cell communication is direct contact. The immune synapse is a paradigmatic example of such type of interaction: it forms upon engagement of antigen receptors in lymphocytes by antigen-presenting cells and allows the local exchange of molecules [1]. Although mechanics has been shown to play an important role in this process [2], how forces organize and impact on synapse function is unknown. We found that mechanical forces are spatio-temporally patterned at the immune synapse: global contractile forces are observed at the synapse periphery and local point-like forces are detected at its centre. The global contractile forces result from a pulsatile centripetal actomyosin flow that leads to formation of F-actin protrusions from which the central point-like forces emerge. Noticeably, these force-producing actin protrusions constitute the main site of antigen extraction and endocytosis. Accordingly, deletion of the myosin IIA gene leads to impaired B cell responses. The interplay between global and local forces governed by the actomyosin cytoskeleton therefore controls the endocytic function of the immune synapse and might constitute a more general mechanism in the physical regulation of cell-cell inte...Continue Reading

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