Pere Roca-Cusachs

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The molecular mechanism by which a mechanical stimulus is translated into a chemical response in biological systems is still unclear. We show that mechanical stretching of single cytoplasmic proteins can activate binding of other molecules. We used magnetic tweezers, total internal reflection fluorescence, and atomic force microscopy to investigate the(More)
Dynamics of epithelial tissues determine key processes in development, tissue healing and cancer invasion. These processes are critically influenced by cell-cell adhesion forces. However, the identity of the proteins that resist and transmit forces at cell-cell junctions remains unclear, and how these proteins control tissue dynamics is largely unknown.(More)
Matrix and tissue rigidity guides many cellular processes, including the differentiation of stem cells and the migration of cells in health and disease. Cells actively and transiently test rigidity using mechanisms limited by inherent physical parameters that include the strength of extracellular attachments, the pulling capacity on these attachments, and(More)
From the extracellular matrix to the cytoskeleton, a network of molecular links connects cells to their environment. Molecules in this network transmit and detect mechanical forces, which subsequently determine cell behavior and fate. Here, we reconstruct the mechanical pathway followed by these forces. From matrix proteins to actin through integrins and(More)
Focal adhesions are mechanosensitive elements that enable mechanical communication between cells and the extracellular matrix. Here, we demonstrate a major mechanosensitive pathway in which α-actinin triggers adhesion maturation by linking integrins to actin in nascent adhesions. We show that depletion of the focal adhesion protein α-actinin enhances force(More)
A key molecular link between cells and the extracellular matrix is the binding between fibronectin and integrins alpha(5)beta(1) and alpha(v)beta(3). However, the roles of these different integrins in establishing adhesion remain unclear. We tested the adhesion strength of fibronectin-integrin-cytoskeleton linkages by applying physiological nanonewton(More)
Cell migration and spreading involve the coordination of membrane trafficking, actomyosin contraction, and modifications to plasma membrane tension and area. The biochemical or biophysical basis for this coordination is however unknown. In this study, we show that during cell spreading, lamellipodia protrusion flattens plasma membrane folds and blebs and,(More)
Cell function depends on tissue rigidity, which cells probe by applying and transmitting forces to their extracellular matrix, and then transducing them into biochemical signals. Here we show that in response to matrix rigidity and density, force transmission and transduction are explained by the mechanical properties of the actin-talin-integrin-fibronectin(More)
The rheology of neutrophils in their passive and activated states plays a key role in determining their function in response to inflammatory stimuli. Atomic force microscopy was used to study neutrophil rheology by measuring the complex shear modulus G*(omega) of passive nonadhered rat neutrophils on poly(HEMA) and neutrophils activated through adhesion to(More)
Shape-dependent local differentials in cell proliferation are considered to be a major driving mechanism of structuring processes in vivo, such as embryogenesis, wound healing, and angiogenesis. However, the specific biophysical signaling by which changes in cell shape contribute to cell cycle regulation remains poorly understood. Here, we describe our(More)