Background & Aims In vitro, several data indicate that cell function can be regulated by the mechanical properties of cells and of the microenvironment. Cells measure these features by developing forces via their actomyosin cytoskeleton, and respond accordingly by transducing forces into biochemical signals that instruct cell behavior. Among these, the transcriptional coactivators YAP/TAZ recently emerged as key factors mediating multiple responses to actomyosin contractility. However, whether mechanical cues regulate adult liver tissue homeostasis, and whether this occurs through YAP/TAZ, remains largely unaddressed. Methods & Results Here we show that the F-actin capping protein CAPZ is a critical negative regulator of actomyosin contractility and mechanotransduction. Capzb inactivation alters stress fiber and focal adhesion dynamics leading to enhanced myosin activity, increased cellular traction forces, and increased liver stiffness. In vitro, this rescues YAP from inhibition by a small geometry; in vivo, inactivation of Capzb in the adult mouse liver induces YAP activation in parallel to the Hippo pathway, causing extensive hepatocyte proliferation and leading to striking organ overgrowth. Moreover, Capzb is required for the maintenance of the differentiated hepatocyte state, for metabolic zonation, and for gluconeogenesis. In keeping with changes in tissue mechanics, inhibition of the contractility regulator ROCK, or deletion of the Yap1 mechanotransducer, reverse the phenotypes emerging in Capzb-null livers. Conclusions These results indicate a previously unrecognized role for CAPZ in tuning the mechanical properties of cells and tissues, which is required in hepatocytes for the maintenance of the differentiated hepatocyte state and to regulate organ size. More in general, it indicates for the first time a physiological role of mechanotransduction in maintaining organ homeostasis in mammals.

F-actin dynamics regulates mammalian organ growth and cell fate maintenance

Pocaterra, Arianna;Santinon, Giulia;Romani, Patrizia;Brian, Irene;Forcato, Mattia;Braghetta, Paola;Montagner, Marco;Galuppini, Francesca;Aragona, Mariaceleste;Pennelli, Gianmaria;Dupont, Sirio
2019

Abstract

Background & Aims In vitro, several data indicate that cell function can be regulated by the mechanical properties of cells and of the microenvironment. Cells measure these features by developing forces via their actomyosin cytoskeleton, and respond accordingly by transducing forces into biochemical signals that instruct cell behavior. Among these, the transcriptional coactivators YAP/TAZ recently emerged as key factors mediating multiple responses to actomyosin contractility. However, whether mechanical cues regulate adult liver tissue homeostasis, and whether this occurs through YAP/TAZ, remains largely unaddressed. Methods & Results Here we show that the F-actin capping protein CAPZ is a critical negative regulator of actomyosin contractility and mechanotransduction. Capzb inactivation alters stress fiber and focal adhesion dynamics leading to enhanced myosin activity, increased cellular traction forces, and increased liver stiffness. In vitro, this rescues YAP from inhibition by a small geometry; in vivo, inactivation of Capzb in the adult mouse liver induces YAP activation in parallel to the Hippo pathway, causing extensive hepatocyte proliferation and leading to striking organ overgrowth. Moreover, Capzb is required for the maintenance of the differentiated hepatocyte state, for metabolic zonation, and for gluconeogenesis. In keeping with changes in tissue mechanics, inhibition of the contractility regulator ROCK, or deletion of the Yap1 mechanotransducer, reverse the phenotypes emerging in Capzb-null livers. Conclusions These results indicate a previously unrecognized role for CAPZ in tuning the mechanical properties of cells and tissues, which is required in hepatocytes for the maintenance of the differentiated hepatocyte state and to regulate organ size. More in general, it indicates for the first time a physiological role of mechanotransduction in maintaining organ homeostasis in mammals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3297972
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