Mechanical Stabilization of the Glandular Acinus by Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton Complex

Curr Biol. 2019 Sep 9;29(17):2826-2839.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.021. Epub 2019 Aug 8.


The nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton are important protein networks that govern cellular behavior and are connected together by the linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex. Mutations in LINC complex components may be relevant to cancer, but how cell-level changes might translate into tissue-level malignancy is unclear. We used glandular epithelial cells in a three-dimensional culture model to investigate the effect of perturbations of the LINC complex on higher order cellular architecture. We show that inducible LINC complex disruption in human mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells and canine kidney epithelial MDCK II cells mechanically destabilizes the acinus. Lumenal collapse occurs because the acinus is unstable to increased mechanical tension that is caused by upregulation of Rho-kinase-dependent non-muscle myosin II motor activity. These findings provide a potential mechanistic explanation for how disruption of LINC complex may contribute to a loss of tissue structure in glandular epithelia.

Keywords: 3D culture; LINC complex; acinar development; actomyosin contractility; breast cancer; fluctuations; lumenal filling; nuclear mechanics; nucleus; tissue mechanics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acinar Cells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Nuclear Matrix / physiology*