Cellular strain avoidance is mediated by a functional actin cap - observations in an Lmna-deficient cell model

C. Tamiello, M. Halder, M.A.F. Kamps, F.P.T. Baaijens, J.L.V. Broers, C.V.C. Bouten

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In adherent cells, the relevance of a physical mechanotransduction pathway provided by the perinuclear actin cap stress fibers has recently emerged. Here, we investigate the impact of a functional actin cap on the cellular adaptive response to topographical cues and uniaxial cyclic strain. Lmna-deficient fibroblasts are used as a model system because they do not develop an intact actin cap, but predominantly form a basal layer of actin stress fibers underneath the nucleus. We observe that topographical cues induce alignment in both normal and Lmna-deficient fibroblasts, suggesting that the topographical signal transmission occurs independently of the integrity of the actin cap. By contrast, in response to cyclic uniaxial strain, Lmna-deficient cells show a compromised strain avoidance response, which is completely abolished when topographical cues and uniaxial strain are applied along the same direction. These findings point to the importance of an intact and functional actin cap in mediating cellular strain avoidance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-790
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2017


  • Cell orientation
  • Cyclic strain
  • Lmna-lacking cells
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Stress fibers
  • Substrate topography

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