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Cell. 2019 Jun 13;177(7):1757-1770.e21. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.017. Epub 2019 May 2.

Physical Principles of Membrane Shape Regulation by the Glycocalyx.

Author information

1
Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
2
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
3
Field of Biophysics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
4
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
5
Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
6
Department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
7
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
8
School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
9
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
10
Field of Biophysics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
11
Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Field of Biophysics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address: mjp31@cornell.edu.

Abstract

Cells bend their plasma membranes into highly curved forms to interact with the local environment, but how shape generation is regulated is not fully resolved. Here, we report a synergy between shape-generating processes in the cell interior and the external organization and composition of the cell-surface glycocalyx. Mucin biopolymers and long-chain polysaccharides within the glycocalyx can generate entropic forces that favor or disfavor the projection of spherical and finger-like extensions from the cell surface. A polymer brush model of the glycocalyx successfully predicts the effects of polymer size and cell-surface density on membrane morphologies. Specific glycocalyx compositions can also induce plasma membrane instabilities to generate more exotic undulating and pearled membrane structures and drive secretion of extracellular vesicles. Together, our results suggest a fundamental role for the glycocalyx in regulating curved membrane features that serve in communication between cells and with the extracellular matrix.

KEYWORDS:

Muc1; cancer; glycocalyx; hyaluronic acid; membrane curvature; membrane morphology; membrane organelle; microvesicle; microvilli; mucin

PMID:
31056282
PMCID:
PMC6768631
[Available on 2020-06-13]
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.017

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