Dynamics and segregation of cell-matrix adhesions in cultured fibroblasts

Eli Zamir, Menachem Katz, Yehudit Posen, Noam Erez, Kenneth M. Yamada, Ben Zion Katz, Shin Lin, Diane C. Lin, Alexander Bershadsky, Zvi Kam, Benjamin Geiger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here we use time-lapse microscopy to analyse cell-matrix adhesions in cells expressing one of two different cytoskeletal proteins, paxillin or tensin, tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Use of GFP-paxillin to analyse focal contacts and GFP-tensin to study fibrillar adhesions reveals that both types of major adhesion are highly dynamic. Small focal contacts often translocate, by extending centripetally and contracting peripherally, at a mean rate of 19 micrometres per hour. Fibrillar adhesions arise from the medial ends of stationary focal contacts, contain α5β1 integrin and tensin but not other focal-contact components, and associate with fibronectin fibrils. Fibrillar adhesions translocate centripetally at a mean rate of 18 micrometres per hour in an actomyosin-dependent manner. We propose a dynamic model for the regulation of cell-matrix adhesions and for transitions between focal contacts and fibrillar adhesions, with the ability of the matrix to deform functioning as a mechanical switch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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