Cell mechanics are more complex than previously thought
'(Nanowerk News) Cell mechanics are considerably more complex than previously thought and may affect cell structures at various levels. This finding is based on a collaborative research project conducted by an international research team from ETH Zurich and University of Tampere, involving Teemu Ihalainen, a postdoctoral researcher at the Academy of Finland. The findings of the team were published in the Nature Materials ("Differential basal-to-apical accessibility of lamin A/C epitopes in the nuclear lamina regulated by changes in cytoskeletal tension").
The research report involved the first discovery that cytoskeletal tension transmitted to a cell nucleus causes changes to occur in the structural organisation of the nuclear envelope inner lining (nuclear lamina). These very same structures bind genetic material – chromatin – thereby enabling mechanical signals to directly affect the structure of chromatin and the reading of the genes.
“Metaphorically speaking, if we think of a cell as a tent, and the tent guy lines that keep the tent erected as the cytoskeleton, then, in line with the observations we made during our project, jerking the guy lines will change the order of objects in a backpack placed in the middle of he tent. We also found that the nuclear lamina is divided into two parts, the upper and lower parts, which are structurally different,” Ihalainen says. 'http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/biotech/newsid=41149.phpDifferential basal-to-apical accessibility of lamin A/C epitopes in the nuclear lamina regulated by changes in cytoskeletal tension : Nature Materials : Nature Publishing Group http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat4389.htmlConfocal microscopy images of fibroblast cells of connective tissue. Cells were grown under controlled conditions into particular shapes using square or round islands 30-45µm in size to which cells were attached. The actin cytoskeleton of the cell appears green; the nucleus red.