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Issue 4, 2018
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Mono-fullerenols modulating cell stiffness by perturbing actin bundling

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Understanding what modulates the cell stiffness is important given its potential application as a diagnostic and medical target. Here, we investigated why and how mono-fullerenols affect the cell stiffness. We confirmed the fullerenol-modulation of cell stiffness using atomic force microscopy (AFM) with sphere tips and ascertained that the particles reduce the cell polarity. The structures of b-actin and f-actin were evaluated by inverted fluorescence microscopy, synchrotron radiation small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and AFM. Statistical and quantitative analyses of the SAXS data of fullerenol-treated b-actin and f-actin reveal a transformation from large-size to small-size b-actin and simultaneously to f-actin. The slight increase in f-actin diameter in the treated group suggests that fullerenols attach to the actin surface. We verified the attachment using AFM and high-resolution probes. Collectively, our results suggest that fullerenols hamper the bundling of f-actin to form b-actin by adhering to the surface of f-actin, weakening the bundle-based cell stiffness.

Graphical abstract: Mono-fullerenols modulating cell stiffness by perturbing actin bundling

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The article was received on 28 Sep 2017, accepted on 12 Dec 2017 and first published on 13 Dec 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07231G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 1750-1758
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    Mono-fullerenols modulating cell stiffness by perturbing actin bundling

    W. Gu, X. Bai, K. Ren, X. Zhao, S. Xia, J. Zhang, Y. Qin, R. Lei, K. Chen, Y. Chang, L. Zeng, J. Li and G. Xing, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 1750
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07231G

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