The failure of existing therapies in treating human glioblastoma (GBM) mostly is due to the ability of GBM to infiltrate into healthy regions of the brain; however, the relationship between cell motility and cell mechanics is not well understood. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM), live-cell imaging, and biochemical tools to study the connection between motility and mechanics in human GBM cells. It was found thatRac1 inactivation by genomic silencing and inhibition with EHT 1864 reduced cell motility, inhibited cell ruffles, and disrupted the dynamics of cytoskeleton organization and cell adhesion. These changes were correlated with abnormal localization of myosin IIa and a rapid suppression of the phosphorylation of Erk1/2. At the same time, AFM measurements of the GBM cells revealed a significant increase in cell elasticity and viscosity following Rac1 inhibition. These results indicate that mechanical properties profoundly affect cell motility and may play an important role in the infiltration of GBM. It is conceivable that the mechanical characters might be used as markers for further surgical and therapeutical interventions.
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