Karen E. Kasza

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We study the growth and invasion of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in three-dimensional collagen I matrices of varying collagen concentration. Phase-contrast microscopy studies of the entire GBM system show that invasiveness at early times is limited by available collagen fibers. At early times, high collagen concentration correlates with more effective(More)
BACKGROUND Mutations in filamin A (FLNa), an essential cytoskeletal protein with multiple binding partners, cause developmental anomalies in humans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We determined the structure of the 23rd Ig repeat of FLNa (IgFLNa23) that interacts with FilGAP, a Rac-specific GTPase-activating protein and regulator of cell polarity and(More)
Spatiotemporally regulated actomyosin contractility generates the forces that drive epithelial cell rearrangements and tissue remodeling. Phosphorylation of the myosin II regulatory light chain (RLC) promotes the assembly of myosin monomers into active contractile filaments and is an essential mechanism regulating the level of myosin activity. However, the(More)
Contractile actin-myosin networks generate forces that drive cell shape changes and tissue remodeling during development. These forces can also actively regulate cell signaling and behavior. Novel features of actin-myosin network dynamics, such as pulsed contractile behaviors and the regulation of myosin localization by tension, have been uncovered in(More)
We image semiflexible polymer networks under shear at the micrometer scale. By tracking embedded probe particles, we determine the local strain field, and directly measure its uniformity, or degree of affineness, on scales of 2-100 microm. The degree of nonaffine strain depends upon the polymer length and cross-link density, consistent with theoretical(More)
The cellular cytoskeleton is a dynamic network of filamentous proteins, consisting of filamentous actin (F-actin), microtubules, and intermediate filaments. However, these networks are not simple linear, elastic solids; they can exhibit highly nonlinear elasticity and athermal dynamics driven by ATP-dependent processes. To build quantitative mechanical(More)
The material properties of a cell determine how mechanical forces are transmitted through and sensed by that cell. Some types of cells stiffen passively under large external forces, but they can also alter their own stiffness in response to the local mechanical environment or biochemical cues. Here we show that the actin-binding protein filamin A is(More)
To elucidate the dynamic and functional role of a cell within the tissue it belongs to, it is essential to understand its material properties. The cell is a viscoelastic material with highly unusual properties. Measurements of the mechanical behavior of cells are beginning to probe the contribution of constituent components to cell mechanics. Reconstituted(More)
Networks of the cytoskeletal biopolymer actin cross-linked by the compliant protein filamin form soft gels that stiffen dramatically under shear stress. We demonstrate that the elasticity of these networks shows a strong dependence on the mean length of the actin polymers, unlike networks with small, rigid cross-links. This behavior is in agreement with a(More)
One of the hallmarks of biopolymer gels is their nonlinear viscoelastic response to stress, making the measurement of the mechanics of these gels very challenging. Various rheological protocols have been proposed for this; however, a thorough understanding of the techniques and their range of applicability, as well as a careful comparison between these(More)