Probing Cell Adhesion Profiles with a Microscale Adhesive Choice Assay
In this work, we introduce, to our knowledge, a new set of adhesion-based biomarkers for characterizing mammalian cells. Mammalian cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix influences numerous physiological processes. Current in vitro methods to probe adhesion focus on adhesive force to a single surface, which can investigate only a subcomponent of the adhesive, motility, and polarization cues responsible for adhesion in the 3D tissue environment. Here, we demonstrate a method to quantify the transhesive properties of cells that relies on the microscale juxtaposition of two extracellular matrix-coated surfaces. By multiplexing this approach, we investigate the unique transhesive profiles for breast cancer cells that are adapted to colonize different metastatic sites. We find that malignant breast cancer cells readily transfer to new collagen I surfaces, and away from basement membrane proteins. Integrins and actin polymerization largely regulate this transfer. This tool can be readily adopted in cell biology and cancer research to uncover, to our knowledge, novel drivers of adhesion (or de-adhesion) and sort cell populations based on complex phenotypes with physiological relevance.
Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(17)30921-9
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