Talin and kindlin cooperate to control the density of integrin clusters
. 2022-10-07; :
AbstractFocal adhesions are important mechanosensitive structures, composed of transmembrane integrins, linking the extracellular matrix to the actomyosin cytoskeleton, via cytoplasmic proteins. Cellular adhesion to the extracellular matrix depends on the activation of integrins by intracellular mechanisms. Talin and kindlin are major activators of integrins that are recruited to the inner membrane and bind to β-integrin cytoplasmic tails. Many studies showed the importance of integrin activation and clustering and how the organization of extracellular ligands guides the nanoscale organization of adhesion complexes. However, the roles of talin and kindlin in this process are poorly understood. To determine the contribution of talin, kindlin, lipids and actomyosin in integrin clustering, we performed experiments using a biomimetic in vitro system, made of Giant Unilamellar Vesicles, containing transmembrane integrins, on which purified talin, kindlin, and actomyosin assemble. Here we first show that talin and kindlin individually have the ability to cluster integrins. When added together, talin and kindlin synergize to induce the formation of larger integrin clusters containing the three proteins. Comparison of protein density in the talin-integrin, kindlin-integrin, and talin-kindlin-integrin clusters reveals that kindlin increases talin and integrin density, whereas talin does not affect kindlin and integrin density. Finally, kindlin significantly enhances the segregation of talin-integrin clusters induced by actomyosin contractility, suggesting that it increases the coupling of these clusters to the actin cytoskeleton. Our study unambiguously demonstrates how kindlin and talin cooperate to induce integrin clustering, which is a major parameter for cell adhesion.