The extracellular matrix guides the orientation of the cell division axis

Théry M, Racine V, Pépin A, Piel M, Chen Y, Sibarita JB, Bornens M.
Nat Cell Biol.. 2005-10; 7(10): 947-53
DOI: ncb1307 [pii]10.1038/ncb1307

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The cell division axis determines the future positions of daughter cells and is
therefore critical for cell fate. The positioning of the division axis has been
mostly studied in systems such as embryos or yeasts, in which cell shape is well
defined. In these cases, cell shape anisotropy and cell polarity affect spindle
orientation. It remains unclear whether cell geometry or cortical cues are
determinants for spindle orientation in mammalian cultured cells. The cell
environment is composed of an extracellular matrix (ECM), which is connected to
the intracellular actin cytoskeleton via transmembrane proteins. We used
micro-contact printing to control the spatial distribution of the ECM on the
substrate and demonstrated that it has a role in determining the orientation of
the division axis of HeLa cells. On the basis of our analysis of the average
distributions of actin-binding proteins in interphase and mitosis, we propose
that the ECM controls the location of actin dynamics at the membrane, and thus
the segregation of cortical components in interphase. This segregation is further
maintained on the cortex of mitotic cells and used for spindle orientation.

DOI: 10.1038/ncb1307
PMID: 16179950

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus