Apr 15, 2020

α-catenin regulates cell junction fluidity by cooperative mechanosensing

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
C. ArboreMarco Capitanio


Cell adhesions dynamically tune their mechanical properties during tissue development and homeostasis. Fluid connections required for cell mobility can switch to solid links to maintain the mechanical rigidity of epithelial layers1,2. Changes in the composition and clustering of adhesion molecules have been proposed to modulate cell junction fluidity, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear3,4. -catenin has been shown to play a fundamental role in different adhesion sites. At adherens cell-cell junctions (AJ), -catenin localizes in cadherin-catenin complexes, where it provides a mechanical link between {beta}-catenin and the actin cytoskeleton5. However, its function is controversial owing to the low affinity between actin and the -{beta}-catenin heterodimer6. Outside AJ, -catenin binds itself to form homodimers that connect the cell membrane to the actin cytoskeleton to promote adhesion and migration, but its mechanosensitive properties are inherently unknown7,8. Here, using ultra-fast laser tweezers9 we show that a single mammalian -catenin molecule displays very different force-bearing properties depending on whether it is associated to {beta}-catenin or not. We found that a single -{beta}-catenin heterodimer slips along a...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Reproductive Development
Embryonic Development
Organ Formation
Plant Development
Arabidopsis thaliana extract
Gene Expression Profiling

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