Dynamics of cell-cell adhesion

Dynamics of cell adhesion (De Rooij lab)


We study the interaction with and the regulation by the acto-myosin cytoskeleton of cellular adhesion complexes. Our main focus is on the E-cadherin cell-cell junction complex and its regulation by mechanical force. We also investigate in the regulation of epithelial cell scattering by the metastasis-promoting hormone HGF. We use live cell imaging and home-made automated image analysis methods to measure the dynamics of cell adhesion complexes as well as the individual proteins that they are built from. Our workhorse microscope is a Nikon Ti equipped with scanning confocal and Total Internal Reflection Imaging systems. We specifically provide access to and help with TIRF microscopy and support in image analysis and advanced imaging techniques such as FRAP and FLIP.




The included movie shows TIRF-imaging of a GFP-paxilin-expressing prostate carcinoma cell that is stimulated with HGF and will receive the Epac-Rap1 activating cAMP analog 007 to block its migration. The small panels on the left hand side show the original image sequence and the overlaid result of the automated Adhesion Complex detection in red. The large panel on the right shows the result of the automated Adhesion Complex tracking in colorcoding marking the position of centre of mass of the detected structures over the last 6 frames.