Quantifying Strain-Sensing Protein Recruitment During Stress Fiber Repair

Methods Mol Biol. 2023:2600:169-182. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2851-5_11.


A family of proteins have been identified that recognize damaged, strained actin filaments in stress fibers. These proteins are often referred to as strain- or force-sensing and trigger downstream signaling mechanisms that can facilitate repair at these strain sites. Here we describe a method using high-resolution microscopy to screen and quantify the mechanosensitive recruitment of proteins to these stress fiber strain sites. Strain sites are induced using spatially controlled illumination of UV light to locally damage actin stress fibers. Recruitment of potential strain-sensing proteins can then either be compared to (Blanchoin, Physiol Rev 94, 235-263, 2014) a known control (e.g., zyxin-GFP) or (Hoffman, Mol Biol Cell 23, 1846-1859, 2012) the pre-damaged stress fiber protein distribution. With this method, strain-sensing proteins and their dynamic association with stress fiber strain sites can be reproducibly measured and compared.

Keywords: LIM proteins; Laser photoablation; Mechanosensing; Stress fiber strain sites; Stress fibers; Testin; Zyxin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins* / metabolism
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress Fibers* / metabolism


  • Actins