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J Cell Physiol. 2011 Dec;226(12):3197-207. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22680.

Shear flow-induced formation of tubular cell protrusions in multiple myeloma cells.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Exposure of live cells to shear flow induces major changes in cell shape, adhesion to the extracellular matrix, and migration. In the present study, we show that exposure of cultured multiple myeloma (MM) cells to shear flow of 4-36 dynes/cm(2) triggers the extension of long tubular protrusions (denoted flow-induced protrusions, or FLIPs) in the direction of the flow. These FLIPs were found to be rich in actin, contain few or no microtubules and, apart from endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-like membranal structures, are devoid of organelles. Studying the dynamics of this process revealed that FLIPs elongate at their tips in a shear force-dependent manner, and retract at their bases. Examination of this force dependence revealed considerable heterogeneity in the mechanosensitivity of individual cells, most likely reflecting the diversity of the malignant B cell population. The mechanisms underlying FLIP formation following mechanical perturbation, and their relevance to the cellular trafficking of MM cells, are discussed.

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