Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 191–203 | Cite as

Theoretical modeling of mechanical homeostasis of a mammalian cell under gravity-directed vector

  • Lüwen Zhou
  • Chen Zhang
  • Fan Zhang
  • Shouqin Lü
  • Shujin Sun
  • Dongyuan Lü
  • Mian Long
Original Paper
  • 136 Downloads

Abstract

Translocation of dense nucleus along gravity vector initiates mechanical remodeling of a eukaryotic cell. In our previous experiments, we quantified the impact of gravity vector on cell remodeling by placing an MC3T3-E1 cell onto upward (U)-, downward (D)-, or edge-on (E)- orientated substrate. Our experimental data demonstrate that orientation dependence of nucleus longitudinal translocation is positively correlated with cytoskeletal (CSK) remodeling of their expressions and structures and also is associated with rearrangement of focal adhesion complex (FAC). However, the underlying mechanism how CSK network and FACs are reorganized in a mammalian cell remains unclear. In this paper, we developed a theoretical biomechanical model to integrate the mechanosensing of nucleus translocation with CSK remodeling and FAC reorganization induced by a gravity vector. The cell was simplified as a nucleated tensegrity structure in the model. The cell and CSK filaments were considered to be symmetrical. All elements of CSK filaments and cytomembrane that support the nucleus were simplified as springs. FACs were simplified as an adhesion cluster of parallel bonds with shared force. Our model proposed that gravity vector-directed translocation of the cell nucleus is mechanically balanced by CSK remodeling and FAC reorganization induced by a gravitational force. Under gravity, dense nucleus tends to translocate and exert additional compressive or stretching force on the cytoskeleton. Finally, changes of the tension force acting on talin by microfilament alter the size of FACs. Results from our model are in qualitative agreement with those from experiments.

Keywords

Gravity directed Mechanosensing Nucleus translocation Cytoskeletal remodeling FAC reorganization 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Science Academy of Sciences grant XDA04020219, National Natural Science Foundation of China grant 31110103918, and National Key Basic Research Foundation of China grant 2011CB710904.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Biomechanics and Bioengineering, Key Laboratory of Microgravity (National Microgravity Laboratory), and Beijing Key Laboratory of Engineered Construction and Mechanobiology, Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Engineering ScienceUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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