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Inception Mechanisms of Tunneling Nanotubes

1
Laboratory of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Department of Food Science and Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4
Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(6), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8060626
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Cytoskeleton Research—From Development to Disease)
Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are thin membranous tubes that interconnect cells, representing a novel route of cell-to-cell communication and spreading of pathogens. TNTs form between many cell types, yet their inception mechanisms remain elusive. We review in this study general concepts related to the formation and stability of membranous tubular structures with a focus on a deviatoric elasticity model of membrane nanodomains. We review experimental evidence that tubular structures initiate from local membrane bending facilitated by laterally distributed proteins or anisotropic membrane nanodomains. We further discuss the numerical results of several theoretical and simulation models of nanodomain segregation suggesting the mechanisms of TNT inception and stability. We discuss the coupling of nanodomain segregation with the action of protruding cytoskeletal forces, which are mostly provided in eukaryotic cells by the polymerization of f-actin, and review recent inception mechanisms of TNTs in relation to motor proteins. View Full-Text
Keywords: tunneling nanotubes; filopodia; anisotropic membrane domains; cytoskeletal forces; f-actin tunneling nanotubes; filopodia; anisotropic membrane domains; cytoskeletal forces; f-actin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Drab, M.; Stopar, D.; Kralj-Iglič, V.; Iglič, A. Inception Mechanisms of Tunneling Nanotubes. Cells 2019, 8, 626.

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