Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance upgrade on Thursday 4th of May 2017 from 8.00am to 9.00am (BST).

During this time our websites will be offline temporarily. If you have any questions please use the feedback button on this page. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.


Issue 5, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Actin filaments play a primary role for structural integrity and viscoelastic response in cells

Author affiliations

Abstract

This atomic force microscopy (AFM) study is devoted to the analysis of the mouse ovarian cancer cell's cytoskeleton components and the impact of both actin and microtubulin filaments on a cell's deformation behavior. Early stage, non-tumorigenic cancer cells show abundant well-organized cytoskeletal structures consisting of both actin and microtubule filaments. In sharp contrast, cells representing late and more aggressive stages of cancer display highly disorganized actin and microtubule structures. With the use of actin microfilament targeting drugs, together with the suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and tubastatin A anti-cancer drugs, we modified the cell architectural framework and performed nano-indentation tests to evaluate cell elasticity and viscosity as a function of each biopolymer's weighted presence. Results demonstrate that both mechanical properties are heavily influenced by the levels and organization state of actin microfilaments; decreasing the actin organization of cells results in 85% and 79% decrease in cell elasticity and viscosity, respectively. In contrast, microtubule organization was shown to exert only marginal effects on either property. Furthermore, the anti-cancer drug, SAHA, was shown to exert little impact on the viscoelastic response of cancer cells. Finally, we report for the first time that tubastatin A, a specific HDAC6 inhibitor, increased cell elasticity as revealed by AFM tests without exerting drastic changes to the actin microfilament or microtubule networks. Our findings raise interest in a potential HDAC6 target that affects cellular mechanics just as effectively as the conventionally known cytoskeleton components.

Graphical abstract: Actin filaments play a primary role for structural integrity and viscoelastic response in cells

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Publication details

The article was received on 24 Nov 2011, accepted on 08 Mar 2012 and first published on 14 Mar 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00168C
Citation: Integr. Biol., 2012,4, 540-549
  •   Request permissions

    Actin filaments play a primary role for structural integrity and viscoelastic response in cells

    A. N. Ketene, P. C. Roberts, A. A. Shea, E. M. Schmelz and M. Agah, Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 540
    DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00168C

Search articles by author