Mechanochemical feedback control of dynamin independent endocytosis modulates membrane tension in adherent cells

Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 11;9(1):4217. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06738-5.


Plasma membrane tension regulates many key cellular processes. It is modulated by, and can modulate, membrane trafficking. However, the cellular pathway(s) involved in this interplay is poorly understood. Here we find that, among a number of endocytic processes operating simultaneously at the cell surface, a dynamin independent pathway, the CLIC/GEEC (CG) pathway, is rapidly and specifically upregulated upon a sudden reduction of tension. Moreover, inhibition (activation) of the CG pathway results in lower (higher) membrane tension. However, alteration in membrane tension does not directly modulate CG endocytosis. This requires vinculin, a mechano-transducer recruited to focal adhesion in adherent cells. Vinculin acts by controlling the levels of a key regulator of the CG pathway, GBF1, at the plasma membrane. Thus, the CG pathway directly regulates membrane tension and is in turn controlled via a mechano-chemical feedback inhibition, potentially leading to homeostatic regulation of membrane tension in adherent cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Dynamins / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Feedback, Physiological*
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction
  • Temperature
  • Vinculin / metabolism


  • Vinculin
  • Dynamins