Traction dynamics of filopodia on compliant substrates

Clarence E. Chan, David J. Odde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

449 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cells sense the environment's mechanical stiffness to control their own shape, migration, and fate. To better understand stiffness sensing, we constructed a stochastic model of the "motor-clutch" force transmission system, where molecular clutches link F-actin to the substrate and mechanically resist myosin-driven F-actin retrograde flow. The model predicts two distinct regimes: (i) "frictional slippage," with fast retrograde flow and low traction forces on stiff substrates and (ii) oscillatory "load-and-fail" dynamics, with slower retrograde flow and higher traction forces on soft substrates. We experimentally confirmed these model predictions in embryonic chick forebrain neurons by measuring the nanoscale dynamics of single-growth-cone filopodia. Furthermore, we experimentally observed a model-predicted switch in F-actin dynamics around an elastic modulus of 1 kilopascal. Thus, a motor-clutch system inherently senses and responds to the mechanical stiffness of the local environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1691
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume322
Issue number5908
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2008

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Traction dynamics of filopodia on compliant substrates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this