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J Cell Biol. 2018 Mar 5;217(3):895-914. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201706097. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Enucleated cells reveal differential roles of the nucleus in cell migration, polarity, and mechanotransduction.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
2
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
3
Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.
4
Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
5
Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Boise State University, Boise, ID.
6
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC.
7
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC jbear@email.unc.edu.
8
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC keith_burridge@med.unc.edu.
9
McAllister Heart Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

Abstract

The nucleus has long been postulated to play a critical physical role during cell polarization and migration, but that role has not been defined or rigorously tested. Here, we enucleated cells to test the physical necessity of the nucleus during cell polarization and directed migration. Using enucleated mammalian cells (cytoplasts), we found that polarity establishment and cell migration in one dimension (1D) and two dimensions (2D) occur without the nucleus. Cytoplasts directionally migrate toward soluble (chemotaxis) and surface-bound (haptotaxis) extracellular cues and migrate collectively in scratch-wound assays. Consistent with previous studies, migration in 3D environments was dependent on the nucleus. In part, this likely reflects the decreased force exerted by cytoplasts on mechanically compliant substrates. This response is mimicked both in cells with nucleocytoskeletal defects and upon inhibition of actomyosin-based contractility. Together, our observations reveal that the nucleus is dispensable for polarization and migration in 1D and 2D but critical for proper cell mechanical responses.

Comment in

PMID:
29351995
PMCID:
PMC5839789
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.201706097
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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