Sep 18, 2017

Past matrix stiffness primes epithelial cells and regulates their future collective migration through a mechanical memory

Samila NasrollahiAmit Pathak


During morphogenesis and cancer metastasis, grouped cells migrate through tissues of dissimilar stiffness. Although the influence of matrix stiffness on cellular mechanosensitivity and motility are well-recognized, it remains unknown whether these matrix-dependent cellular features persist after cells move to a new microenvironment. Here, we interrogate whether priming of epithelial cells by a given matrix stiffness influences their future collective migration on a different matrix - a property we refer to as the 'mechanical memory' of migratory cells. To prime cells on a defined matrix and track their collective migration onto an adjoining secondary matrix of dissimilar stiffness, we develop a modular polyacrylamide substrate through step-by-step polymerization of different PA compositions. We report that epithelial cells primed on a stiff matrix migrate faster, display higher actomyosin expression, form larger focal adhesions, and retain nuclear YAP even after arriving onto a soft secondary matrix, as compared to their control behavior on a homogeneously soft matrix. Priming on a soft ECM causes a reverse effect. The depletion of YAP dramatically reduces this memory-dependent migration. Our results present a previously uniden...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Extracellular Matrix Constituent Secretion
Cell Motility
Regulation of Biological Process
Squamous Transitional Epithelial Cell Count
Extracellular Matrix
Muscular Stiffness
Actomyosin Location
Mechanotransduction, Cellular
Focal Adhesions

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