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Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Jul;24(13):2112-23. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-12-0856. Epub 2013 May 1.

Dual-color superresolution microscopy reveals nanoscale organization of mechanosensory podosomes.

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Department of Tumor Immunology, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, Netherlands.


Podosomes are multimolecular mechanosensory assemblies that coordinate mesenchymal migration of tissue-resident dendritic cells. They have a protrusive actin core and an adhesive ring of integrins and adaptor proteins, such as talin and vinculin. We recently demonstrated that core actin oscillations correlate with intensity fluctuations of vinculin but not talin, suggesting different molecular rearrangements for these components. Detailed information on the mutual localization of core and ring components at the nanoscale is lacking. By dual-color direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, we for the first time determined the nanoscale organization of individual podosomes and their spatial arrangement within large clusters formed at the cell-substrate interface. Superresolution imaging of three ring components with respect to actin revealed that the cores are interconnected and linked to the ventral membrane by radiating actin filaments. In core-free areas, αMβ2 integrin and talin islets are homogeneously distributed, whereas vinculin preferentially localizes proximal to the core and along the radiating actin filaments. Podosome clusters appear as self-organized contact areas, where mechanical cues might be efficiently transduced and redistributed. Our findings call for a reevaluation of the current "core-ring" model and provide a novel structural framework for further understanding the collective behavior of podosome clusters.

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