Traction stress in focal adhesions correlates biphasically with actin retrograde fl ow speed

Margaret L. Gardel, Benedikt Sabass, Lin Ji, Gaudenz Danuser, Ulrich S. Schwarz, Clare M. Waterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations

Abstract

How focal adhesions (FAs) convert retrograde fi lamentous actin (F-actin) fl ow into traction stress on the extracellular matrix to drive cell migration is unknown. Using combined traction force and fl uorescent speckle microscopy, we observed a robust biphasic relationship between F-actin speed and traction force. F-actin speed is inversely related to traction stress near the cell edge where FAs are formed and F-actin motion is rapid. In contrast, larger FAs where the F-actin speed is low are marked by a direct relationship between F-actin speed and traction stress. We found that the biphasic switch is determined by a threshold F-actin speed of 8-10 nm/s, independent of changes in FA protein density, age, stress magnitude, assembly/disassembly status, or subcellular position induced by pleiotropic perturbations to Rho family guanosine triphosphatase signaling and myosin II activity. Thus, F-actin speed is a fundamental regulator of traction force at FAs during cell migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1005
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume183
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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