Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Jul;20(14):3224-38. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-12-1186. Epub 2009 May 20.

Filamin A-beta1 integrin complex tunes epithelial cell response to matrix tension.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The physical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulate the behavior of several cell types; yet, mechanisms by which cells recognize and respond to changes in these properties are not clear. For example, breast epithelial cells undergo ductal morphogenesis only when cultured in a compliant collagen matrix, but not when the tension of the matrix is increased by loading collagen gels or by increasing collagen density. We report that the actin-binding protein filamin A (FLNa) is necessary for cells to contract collagen gels, and pull on collagen fibrils, which leads to collagen remodeling and morphogenesis in compliant, low-density gels. In stiffer, high-density gels, cells are not able to contract and remodel the matrix, and morphogenesis does not occur. However, increased FLNa-beta1 integrin interactions rescue gel contraction and remodeling in high-density gels, resulting in branching morphogenesis. These results suggest morphogenesis can be "tuned" by the balance between cell-generated contractility and opposing matrix stiffness. Our findings support a role for FLNa-beta1 integrin as a mechanosensitive complex that bidirectionally senses the tension of the matrix and, in turn, regulates cellular contractility and response to this matrix tension.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk