Podosomes are a singular category of integrin-mediated adhesions important in the processes of cell migration, matrix degradation and cancer cell invasion. Despite a wealth of biochemical studies, the effects of mechanical forces on podosome integrity and dynamics are poorly understood. Here, we show that podosomes are highly sensitive to two groups of physical factors. First, we describe the process of podosome disassembly induced by activation of myosin-IIA filament assembly. Next, we find that podosome integrity and dynamics depends upon membrane tension and can be experimentally perturbed by osmotic swelling and deoxycholate treatment. We have also found that podosomes can be disrupted in a reversible manner by single or cyclic radial stretching of the substratum. We show that disruption of podosomes induced by osmotic swelling is independent of myosin-II filaments. The inhibition of the membrane sculpting protein, dynamin-II, but not clathrin, resulted in activation of myosin-IIA filament formation and disruption of podosomes. The effect of dynamin-II inhibition on podosomes was, however, independent of myosin-II filaments. Moreover, formation of organized arrays of podosomes in response to microtopographic cues (the ridges with triangular profile) was not accompanied by reorganization of myosin-II filaments. Thus, mechanical elements such as myosin-II filaments and factors affecting membrane tension/sculpting independently modulate podosome formation and dynamics, underlying a versatile response of these adhesion structures to intracellular and extracellular cues. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Forces in cancer: interdisciplinary approaches in tumour mechanobiology'.
Keywords: cell stretching; integrin-based adhesions; membrane tension; myosin-II filaments; structured-illumination microscopy.