Structure and biomechanics of the endothelial transcellular circumferential invasion array in tumor invasion

Constadina Arvanitis, Satya Khuon, Rachel Spann, Karen M. Ridge, Teng Leong Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cancer cells breach the endothelium not only through cell-cell junctions but also via individual endothelial cells (ECs), or transcellular invasion. The underlying EC forms a circular structure around the transcellular invasion pore that is dependent on myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) and myosin II regulatory light chain (RLC) phosphorylation. Here we offer mechanistic insights into transcellular invasive array formation amid persistent tensile force from activated EC myosin. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments, sarcomeric distance measurements using super-resolution microscopy and electron microscopy provide details about the nature of the myosin II invasion array. To probe the relationship between biomechanical forces and the tension required to maintain the curvature of contractile filaments, we targeted individual actin-myosin fibers at the invasion site for photoablation. We showed that adjacent filaments rapidly replace the ablat11ed structures. We propose that the transcellular circumferential invasion array (TCIA) provides the necessary constraint within the EC to blunt the radial compression from the invading cancer cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere89758
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 24 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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