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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 14;7(1):8116. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08517-6.

Atomic Force Microscopy micro-rheology reveals large structural inhomogeneities in single cell-nuclei.

Author information

1
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK.
2
School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NJ, UK.
3
School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NJ, UK. c.toseland@kent.ac.uk.
4
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK. schaap@smaract.com.
5
SmarAct GmbH, D26135, Oldenburg, Germany. schaap@smaract.com.

Abstract

During growth, differentiation and migration of cells, the nucleus changes size and shape, while encountering forces generated by the cell itself and its environment. Although there is increasing evidence that such mechanical signals are employed to control gene expression, it remains unclear how mechanical forces are transduced through the nucleus. To this end, we have measured the compliance of nuclei by applying oscillatory strains between 1 and 700 Hz to individual nuclei of multiple mammalian cell-lines that were compressed between two plates. The quantitative response varied with more than one order of magnitude and scaled with the size of the nucleus. Surprisingly, the qualitative behaviour was conserved among different cell-lines: all nuclei showed a softer and more viscous response towards the periphery, suggesting a reduced degree of crosslinking of the chromatin. This may be an important feature to regulate transcription via mechano-transduction in this most active and dynamic region of the nucleus.

PMID:
28808261
PMCID:
PMC5556037
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-08517-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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