New publication in Nature Cell Biology for Paluch, Salbreux and Charras Labs
25 May 2017
Actin cortex architecture regulates cell surface tension
Authors: Priyamvada Chugh, Andrew G. Clark, Matthew B. Smith, Davide A. D. Cassani, Kai Dierkes, Anan Ragab, Philippe P. Roux, Guillaume Charras, Guillaume Salbreux & Ewa K. Paluch.
Animal cell shape is largely determined by the cortex, a thin actin network underlying the plasma membrane in which myosin-driven stresses generate contractile tension. Tension gradients result in local contractions and drive cell deformations. Understanding tension generation is thus essential to understand cell shape control. Up to now, cortex tension was thought to be mostly determined by cortical myosin motors. In this new publication, the Paluch lab shows that the spatial organisation of actin filaments in the cortical network is equally important. They combine molecular biology, biophysical measurements and quantitative imaging, and develop a computational model of the cortex, developed in collaboration with Guillaume Salbreux (Francis Crick Institute), to investigate how cortex thickness affects tension. This interdisciplinary work demonstrates that actin network architecture, alongside myosin activity, is key to cell surface tension regulation.