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Biophys J. 2010 Aug 4;99(3):989-96. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.05.023.

Role of cytoskeleton in controlling the disorder strength of cellular nanoscale architecture.

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Biomedical Engineering Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.


Cytoskeleton is ubiquitous throughout the cell and is involved in important cellular processes such as cellular transport, signal transduction, gene transcription, cell-division, etc. Partial wave spectroscopic microscopy is a novel optical technique that measures the statistical properties of cell nanoscale organization in terms of the disorder strength. It has been found previously that the increase in the disorder strength of cell nanoarchitecture is one of the earliest events in carcinogenesis. In this study, we investigate the cellular components responsible for the differential disorder strength between two morphologically (and hence microscopically) similar but genetically altered human colon cancer cell lines, HT29 cells and Csk shRNA-transfected HT29 cells that exhibit different degrees of neoplastic aggressiveness. To understand the role of cytoskeleton in nanoarchitectural alterations, we performed selective drug treatment on the specific cytoskeletal components of these cell types and studied the effects of cytoskeletal organization on disorder strength differences. We report that altering the cell nanoarchitecture by disrupting cytoskeletal organization leads to the attenuation of the disorder strength differences between microscopically indistinguishable HT29 and CSK constructs. We therefore demonstrate that cytoskeleton plays a role in the control of cellular nanoscale disorder.

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