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J Cell Sci. 1995 Jun;108 ( Pt 6):2253-60.

Focal adhesion formation by F9 embryonal carcinoma cells after vinculin gene disruption.

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Department of Chemical Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The assembly of focal adhesions was investigated in F9 embryonal carcinoma cells in which the expression of vinculin was eliminated by a targeted disruption of the vinculin gene. Vinculin-deficient F9 cells were capable of adhering to fibronectin-coated surfaces, though they displayed a reduced spreading compared to the parental cells. Transmission electron microscopy as well as interference reflection microscopy of live cells showed that vinculin-null F9 cells formed focal adhesions that were indistinguishable from those of the control cells. Fluorescent labeling for actin, talin, alpha-actinin, paxillin and phosphotyrosinated components indicated that the organization of all these focal contact-associated components was essentially identical in the vinculin-containing and vinculin-null cells. However, quantitative, digitized microscopy indicated that the intensity of fluorescence labeling in focal adhesions for alpha-actinin, talin and paxillin was significantly higher in cells lacking vinculin. The results suggest that there are multiple molecular mechanisms for the formation of focal adhesions in the absence of vinculin.

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