Focal Adhesion Kinase: The Reversible Molecular Mechanosensor
Elsevier (Cell Press)
MetadataShow full item record
Bell, S., & Terentjev, E. (2017). Focal Adhesion Kinase: The Reversible Molecular Mechanosensor. Biophysical Journal, 112 (11), 2439-2450. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2017.04.048
Sensors are the first element of the pathways that control the response of cells to their environment. Protein complexes that produce or enable a chemical signal in response to a mechanical stimulus are called ‘‘mechanosensors’’. In this work, we develop a theoretical model describing the physical mechanism of a reversible single-molecule stiffness sensor. Although this has the potential for general application, here we apply the model to focal adhesion kinase, which initiates the chemical signal in its active phosphorylated conformation, but can spontaneously return to its closed folded conformation. We find how the rates of conformation changes depend on the substrate stiffness and the pulling force applied from the cell cytoskeleton. We find the sensor is homeostatic, spontaneously self-adjusting to reach a state where its range of maximum sensitivity matches the substrate stiffness. The results compare well with the phenotype observations of cells on different substrates.
Is supplemented by: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2017.04.048
This work has been funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant No. EP/M508007/1.
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2017.04.048
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/265145