Mechanical stimulation induces formin-dependent assembly of a perinuclear actin rim

Xiaowei Shao, Qingsen Li, Alex Mogilner, Alexander D. Bershadsky, G. V. Shivashankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cells constantly sense and respond to mechanical signals by reorganizing their actin cytoskeleton. Although a number of studies have explored the effects of mechanical stimuli on actin dynamics, the immediate response of actin after force application has not been studied. We designed a method to monitor the spatiotemporal reorganization of actin after cell stimulation by local force application. We found that force could induce transient actin accumulation in the perinuclear region within ∼2 min. This actin reorganization was triggered by an intracellular Ca2+ burst induced by force application. Treatment with the calcium ionophore A23187 recapitulated the force-induced perinuclear actin remodeling. Blocking of actin polymerization abolished this process. Overexpression of Klarsicht, ANC-1, Syne Homology (KASH) domain to displace nesprins from the nuclear envelope did not abolish Ca2+-dependent perinuclear actin assembly. However, the endoplasmic reticulum- and nuclear membrane-associated inverted formin-2 (INF2), a potent actin polymerization activator (mutations of which are associated with several genetic diseases), was found to be important for perinuclear actin assembly. The perinuclear actin rim structure colocalized with INF2 on stimulation, and INF2 depletion resulted in attenuation of the rim formation. Our study suggests that cells can respond rapidly to external force by remodeling perinuclear actin in a unique Ca2+-and INF2-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2595-E2601
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 19 2015


  • Calcium
  • Force
  • Formin
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Perinuclear actin rim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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