The influence of GFP-actin expression on the adhesion dynamics of HepG2 cells on a model extracellular matrix
Integrins belong to a family of important cell surface receptors which mediate the adhesion of most anchorage-dependent cells to nature extracellular matrix (ECM) and biomaterials. It is known that the binding of integrin with ECM proteins triggers mechanochemical responses of cytoskeleton. To date, the intricate interplay between integrin-ECM interaction and cytoskeleton dynamics leading to the regulation of cell morphogenesis on biomaterials remains largely unknown. In this study, green fluorescence protein (GFP)-actins were expressed in HepG2 cells for the temporal visualization of cytoskeletal structure of adherent cells on naturally derived materials. By combining confocal reflectance contrast microscopy and fluorescence microscopy, the adhesion contact dynamics, cytoskeleton remodeling and two-dimensional spreading of intact and GFP-actin expressing HepG2 cells on collagen and fibronectin-coated substrates are simultaneously probed during the initial cell seeding. First of all, our results show that the evolution of adhesion contact of HepG2 cells upon integrin–collagen or integrin–fibronectin interaction is impaired by GFP-actin expression. Also, the initial rate of cell deformation is reduced by 70% and 43% on fibronectin and collagen, respectively, upon GFP-actin expression. Interestingly, the steady-state adhesion energy of HepG2 cells remains unchanged and increases on fibronectin- and collagen-coated substrate, respectively, upon GFP-actin expression. Our highly integrated biophysical approach demonstrates that GFP-actins diffusively concentrate in the cytoplasmic cortex during initial cell seeding while adhesion contact evolves and cell spreads. Kinetics analysis on the adhesion contact formation demonstrates the intricate interplay between cytoskeleton property and ECM proteins in cell adhesion.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 26, Issue 26, September 2005, Pages 5348–5358