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Open AccessArticle

Mechanical Adaptations of Epithelial Cells on Various Protruded Convex Geometries

by Sun-Min Yu 1,2,†, Bo Li 1,†, Steve Granick 1,3 and Yoon-Kyoung Cho 1,2,*
1
Center for Soft and Living Matter, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Korea
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Korea
3
Department of Chemistry, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Cells 2020, 9(6), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9061434
Received: 10 April 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial Cell Mechanics: From Physiology to Pathology)
The shape of epithelial tissue supports physiological functions of organs such as intestinal villi and corneal epithelium. Despite the mounting evidence showing the importance of geometry in tissue microenvironments, the current understanding on how it affects biophysical behaviors of cells is still elusive. Here, we cultured cells on various protruded convex structure such as triangle, square, and circle shape fabricated using two-photon laser lithography and quantitatively analyzed individual cells. Morphological data indicates that epithelial cells can sense the sharpness of the corner by showing the characteristic cell alignments, which was caused by actin contractility. Cell area was mainly influenced by surface convexity, and Rho-activation increased cell area on circle shape. Moreover, we found that intermediate filaments, vimentin, and cytokeratin 8/18, play important roles in growth and adaptation of epithelial cells by enhancing expression level on convex structure depending on the shape. In addition, microtubule building blocks, α-tubulin, was also responded on geometric structure, which indicates that intermediate filaments and microtubule can cooperatively secure mechanical stability of epithelial cells on convex surface. Altogether, the current study will expand our understanding of mechanical adaptations of cells on out-of-plane geometry. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D geometry; epithelial cell; morphology; actin contractility; vimentin; keratin; tubulin; mechanobiology 3D geometry; epithelial cell; morphology; actin contractility; vimentin; keratin; tubulin; mechanobiology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, S.-M.; Li, B.; Granick, S.; Cho, Y.-K. Mechanical Adaptations of Epithelial Cells on Various Protruded Convex Geometries. Cells 2020, 9, 1434.

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