Myosin II governs intracellular pressure and traction by distinct tropomyosin-dependent mechanisms. uri icon


  • Two-dimensional (2D) substrate rigidity promotes myosin II activity to increase traction force in a process negatively regulated by tropomyosin (Tpm) 2.1. We recently discovered that actomyosin contractility can increase intracellular pressure and switch tumor cells from low-pressure lamellipodia to high-pressure lobopodial protrusions during three-dimensional (3D) migration. However, it remains unclear whether these myosin II-generated cellular forces are produced simultaneously, and by the same molecular machinery. Here we identify Tpm 1.6 as a positive regulator of intracellular pressure and confirm that Tpm 2.1 is a negative regulator of traction force. We find that Tpm 1.6 and 2.1 can control intracellular pressure and traction independently, suggesting these myosin II-dependent forces are generated by distinct mechanisms. Further, these tropomyosin-regulated mechanisms can be integrated to control complex cell behaviors on 2D and in 3D environments.

publication date

  • May 1, 2019