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Epithelial cell-cell junctions, organized by adhesion proteins and the underlying actin cytoskeleton, are considered to be stable structures maintaining the structural integrity of tissues. Contrary to the idea that alpha-catenin links the adhesion protein E-cadherin through beta-catenin to the actin cytoskeleton, in the accompanying paper we report that(More)
To establish laser-tracking microrheology (LTM) as a new technique for quantifying cytoskeletal mechanics, we measure viscoelastic moduli with wide bandwidth (5 decades) within living cells. With the first subcellular measurements of viscoelastic phase angles, LTM provides estimates of solid versus liquid behavior at different frequencies. In LTM, the(More)
Keratins 5 and 14 polymerize to form the intermediate filament network in the progenitor basal cells of many stratified epithelia including epidermis, where it provides crucial mechanical support. Inherited mutations in K5 or K14 result in epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), a skin-fragility disorder. The impact that such mutations exert on the intrinsic(More)
Spatial and functional organization of cells in tissues is determined by cell-cell adhesion, thought to be initiated through trans-interactions between extracellular domains of the cadherin family of adhesion proteins, and strengthened by linkage to the actin cytoskeleton. Prevailing dogma is that cadherins are linked to the actin cytoskeleton through(More)
Spatiotemporal coordination of cell-cell adhesion involving lamellipodial interactions, cadherin engagement, and the lateral expansion of the contact is poorly understood. Using high-resolution live-cell imaging, biosensors, and small molecule inhibitors, we investigate how Rac1 and RhoA regulate actin dynamics during de novo contact formation between pairs(More)
Most type I and II keratin genes are spatially and temporally regulated in a pairwise manner in epithelial tissues, where they represent the major structural proteins. Epithelia can be partitioned into simple (single-layered) and complex (multilayered) types. We compared the structural and mechanical properties of natural keratin polymers occurring in(More)
Synapses are specialized adhesive contacts characteristic of many types of cell-cell interactions involving neurons, immune cells, epithelial cells, and even pathogens and host cells. Cell-cell adhesion is mediated by structurally diverse classes of cell-surface glycoproteins, which form homophilic or heterophilic interactions across the intercellular(More)
SUMMARY Epithelial cell-cell junctions, organized by adhesion proteins and the underlying actin cytoskeleton, are considered to be stable structures maintaining the structural integrity of tissues. Contrary to the idea that a-catenin links the adhesion protein E-cadherin through b-catenin to the actin cy-toskeleton, in the accompanying paper we report that(More)
A major function shared by several types of cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (IFs) is to stabilize cellular architecture against the mechanical forces it is subjected to. As for other fibrous cytoskeletal arrays, a crucial determinant of this function is the spatial organization of IFs in the cytoplasm. However, very few crossbridging proteins are(More)
Mechanisms underlying the organization of centrosome-derived microtubule arrays are well understood, but less is known about how acentrosomal microtubule networks are formed. The basal cortex of polarized epithelial cells contains a microtubule network of mixed polarity. We examined how this network is organized by imaging microtubule dynamics in(More)