Complementary mesoscale dynamics of spectrin and acto-myosin shape membrane territories during mechanoresponse



Ghisleni A, Galli C, Monzo P, Ascione F, Fardin MA, Scita G, Li Q,
Maiuri P, Gauthier NC



Nat Commun.

2020 Oct 9


The spectrin-based membrane skeleton is a major component of the cell cortex. While expressed by all metazoans, its dynamic interactions with the other cortex components, including the plasma membrane or the acto-myosin cytoskeleton, are poorly understood. Here, we investigate how spectrin re-organizes spatially and dynamically under the membrane during changes in cell mechanics. We find spectrin and acto-myosin to be spatially distinct but cooperating during mechanical challenges, such as cell adhesion and contraction, or compression, stretch and osmolarity fluctuations, creating a cohesive cortex supporting the plasma membrane. Actin territories control protrusions and contractile structures while spectrin territories concentrate in retractile zones and low-actin density/inter-contractile regions, acting as a fence that organize membrane trafficking events. We unveil here the existence of a dynamic interplay between acto-myosin and spectrin necessary to support a mesoscale organization of the lipid bilayer into spatially-confined cortical territories during cell mechanoresponse.