Heterogeneity of focal adhesions and focal contacts in motile fibroblasts

Aleena Gladkikh, Anastasia Kovaleva, Anna Tvorogova, Ivan Vorobyev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion is an important property of virtually all cells in multicellular organisms. Cell-ECM adhesion studies, therefore, are very significant both for biology and medicine. Over the last three decades, biomedical studies resulted in a tremendous advance in our understanding of the molecular basis and functions of cell-ECM adhesion. Based on morphological and molecular criteria, several different types of model cell-ECM adhesion structures including focal adhesions, focal complexes, fibrillar adhesions, podosomes, and three-dimensional matrix adhesions have been described. All the subcellular structures that mediate cell-ECM adhesion are quite heterogeneous, often varying in size, shape, distribution, dynamics, and, to a certain extent, molecular constituents. The morphological “plasticity” of cell-ECM adhesion perhaps reflects the needs of cells to sense, adapt, and respond to a variety of extracellular environments. In addition, cell type (e.g., differentiation status, oncogenic transformation, etc.) often exerts marked influence on the structure of cell-ECM adhesions. Although molecular, genetic, biochemical, and structural studies provide important maps or “snapshots” of cell-ECM adhesions, the area of research that is equally valuable is to study the heterogeneity of FA subpopulations within cells. Recently time-lapse observations on the FA dynamics become feasible, and behavior of individual FA gives additional information on cell-ECM interactions. Here we describe a robust method of labeling of FA using plasmids with fluorescent markers for paxillin and vinculin and quantifying the morphological and dynamical parameters of FA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Pages205-218
Number of pages14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
Volume1745
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

Keywords

  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Focal adhesions
  • Heterogeneity
  • Image processing
  • Paxillin
  • Vinculin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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