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PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e26182. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026182. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Integrin-dependent activation of the JNK signaling pathway by mechanical stress.

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1
Instituto de Biología Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC), Parc Cientific de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Mechanical force is known to modulate the activity of the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling cascade. However, the effect of mechanical stresses on JNK signaling activation has previously only been analyzed by in vitro detection methods. It still remains unknown how living cells activate the JNK signaling cascade in response to mechanical stress and what its functions are in stretched cells.We assessed in real-time the activity of the JNK pathway in Drosophila cells by Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM), using an intramolecular phosphorylation-dependent dJun-FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) biosensor. We found that quantitative FRET-FLIM analysis and confocal microscopy revealed sustained dJun-FRET biosensor activation and stable morphology changes in response to mechanical stretch for Drosophila S2R+ cells. Further, these cells plated on different substrates showed distinct levels of JNK activity that associate with differences in cell morphology, integrin expression and focal adhesion organization.These data imply that alterations in the cytoskeleton and matrix attachments may act as regulators of JNK signaling, and that JNK activity might feed back to modulate the cytoskeleton and cell adhesion. We found that this dynamic system is highly plastic; at rest, integrins at focal adhesions and talin are key factors suppressing JNK activity, while multidirectional static stretch leads to integrin-dependent, and probably talin-independent, Jun sensor activation. Further, our data suggest that JNK activity has to coordinate with other signaling elements for the regulation of the cytoskeleton and cell shape remodeling associated with stretch.

PMID:
22180774
PMCID:
PMC3236745
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0026182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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