Fiber stiffness, pore size and adhesion control migratory phenotype of MDA-MB-231 cells in collagen gels

Autoři: Florian Geiger aff001;  Daniel Rüdiger aff002;  Stefan Zahler aff002;  Hanna Engelke aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Chemistry and Center for NanoScience, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany aff001;  Department of Pharmacy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225215


Cancer cell migration is influenced by cellular phenotype and behavior as well as by the mechanical and chemical properties of the environment. Furthermore, many cancer cells show plasticity of their phenotype and adapt it to the properties of the environment. Here, we study the influence of fiber stiffness, confinement, and adhesion properties on cancer cell migration in porous collagen gels. Collagen gels with soft fibers abrogate migration and promote a round, non-invasive phenotype. Stiffer collagen fibers are inherently more adhesive and lead to the existence of an adhesive phenotype and in general confined migration due to adhesion. Addition of TGF-β lowers adhesion, eliminates the adhesive phenotype and increases the amount of highly motile amoeboid phenotypes. Highest migration speeds and longest displacements are achieved in stiff collagen fibers in pores of about cell size by amoeboid phenotypes. This elucidates the influence of the mechanical properties of collagen gels on phenotype and subsequently migration and shows that stiff fibers, cell sized pores, and low adhesion, are optimal conditions for an amoeboid phenotype and efficient migration.

Klíčová slova:

Adhesives – Cancer cell migration – Cell migration – Collagens – Fluorescence imaging – Gels – Statistical distributions – Stiffness


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11