Mechanical interplay between invadopodia and the nucleus in cultured cancer cells

Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 30;5:9466. doi: 10.1038/srep09466.


Invadopodia are actin-rich membrane protrusions through which cells adhere to the extracellular matrix and degrade it. In this study, we explored the mechanical interactions of invadopodia in melanoma cells, using a combination of correlative light and electron microscopy. We show here that the core actin bundle of most invadopodia interacts with integrin-containing matrix adhesions at its basal end, extends through a microtubule-rich cytoplasm, and at its apical end, interacts with the nuclear envelope and indents it. Abolishment of invadopodia by microtubules or src inhibitors leads to the disappearance of these nuclear indentations. Based on the indentation profile and the viscoelastic properties of the nucleus, the force applied by invadopodia is estimated to be in the nanoNewton range. We further show that knockdown of the LINC complex components nesprin 2 or SUN1 leads to a substantial increase in the prominence of the adhesion domains at the opposite end of the invadopodia. We discuss this unexpected, long-range mechanical interplay between the apical and basal domains of invadopodia, and its possible involvement in the penetration of invadopodia into the matrix.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Actins / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Podosomes / pathology
  • Podosomes / ultrastructure*


  • Actins