Fibrillar adhesion dynamics govern the timescales of nuclear mechano-response via the vimentin cytoskeleton

bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 11:2023.11.08.566191. doi: 10.1101/2023.11.08.566191. Preprint.


The cell nucleus is continuously exposed to external signals, of both chemical and mechanical nature. To ensure proper cellular response, cells need to regulate not only the transmission of these signals, but also their timing and duration. Such timescale regulation is well described for fluctuating chemical signals, but if and how it applies to mechanical signals reaching the nucleus is still unknown. Here we demonstrate that the formation of fibrillar adhesions locks the nucleus in a mechanically deformed conformation, setting the mechanical response timescale to that of fibrillar adhesion remodelling (~1 hour). This process encompasses both mechanical deformation and associated mechanotransduction (such as via YAP), in response to both increased and decreased mechanical stimulation. The underlying mechanism is the anchoring of the vimentin cytoskeleton to fibrillar adhesions and the extracellular matrix through plectin 1f, which maintains nuclear deformation. Our results reveal a mechanism to regulate the timescale of mechanical adaptation, effectively setting a low pass filter to mechanotransduction.

PMID:37986921 | PMC:PMC10659263 | DOI:10.1101/2023.11.08.566191