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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 26;7(1):12308. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12467-4.

Adaptation trajectories during adhesion and spreading affect future cell states.

Author information

1
Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
2
Radboud University, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Geert Grooteplein 28, 6525 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. w.huck@science.ru.nl.

Abstract

Cells are complex systems in which dynamic gene expression and protein-interaction networks adapt to changes in the environment. Seeding and subsequent spreading of cells on substrates represents an example of adaptation to a major perturbation. The formation of adhesive interactions and self-organisation of the cytoskeleton during initial spreading might prime future cell behaviour. To elucidate the role of these events on later cellular behaviour, we mapped the trajectories by which cells respond to seeding on substrates with different physical properties. Our experiments on cell spreading dynamics on collagen- or fibrin-coated polyacrylamide gels and collagen or fibrin hydrogels show that on each substrate, cells follow distinct trajectories of morphological changes, culminating in fundamentally different cell states as quantified by RNA-expression levels, YAP/TAZ localisation, proliferation and differentiation propensities. The continuous adaptation of the cell to environmental cues leaves traces due to differential cellular organisation and gene expression profiles, blurring correlations between a particular physical property and cellular phenotype.

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