Mapping Cell Membrane Fluctuations Reveals Their Active Regulation and Transient Heterogeneities
Shape fluctuations of the plasma membrane occur in all cells, are incessant, and are proposed to affect membrane functioning. Although studies show how membrane fluctuations are affected by cellular activity in adherent cells, their spatial regulation and the corresponding change in membrane mechanics remain unclear. In this article, we study how ATP-driven activities and actomyosin cytoskeleton impact basal membrane fluctuations in adherent cells. Using interference imaging, we map height fluctuations within single cells and compare the temporal spectra with existing theoretical models to gain insights about the underlying membrane mechanics. We find that ATP-dependent activities enhance the nanoscale z fluctuations but stretch out the membrane laterally. Although actin polymerization or myosin-II activity individually enhances fluctuations, the cortex in unperturbed cells stretches out the membrane and dampens fluctuations. Fitting with models suggest this dampening to be due to confinement by the cortex. However, reduced fluctuations on mitosis or on ATP-depletion/stabilization of cortex correlate with increased tension. Both maps of fluctuations and local temporal autocorrelation functions reveal ATP-dependent transient short-range (<2 μm) heterogeneities. Together, our results show how various ATP-driven processes differently affect membrane mechanics and hence fluctuations, while creating distinct local environments whose functional role needs future investigation.
Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(17)30964-5
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