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Primary cilia are microtubule based organelles which control a variety of signalling pathways important in cartilage development, health and disease. This study examines the role of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) protein, IFT88, in regulating fundamental actin organisation and mechanics in articular chondrocytes.The study used an established chondrocyte cell line with and without hypomorphic mutation of IFT88 (IFT88(orpk)). Confocal microscopy was used to quantify F-actin and myosin IIB organisation. Viscoelastic cell and actin cortex mechanics were determined using micropipette aspiration with actin dynamics visualised in live cells transfected with LifeACT-GFP.IFT88(orpk) cells exhibited a significant increase in acto-myosin stress fibre organisation relative to wild-type (WT) cells in monolayer and an altered response to cytochalasin D. Rounded IFT88(orpk) cells cultured in suspension exhibited reduced cortical actin expression with reduced cellular equilibrium modulus. Micropipette aspiration resulted in reduced membrane bleb formation in IFT88(orpk) cells. Following membrane blebbing, IFT88(orpk) cells exhibited slower reformation of the actin cortex. IFT88(orpk) cells showed increased actin deformability and reduced cortical tension confirming that IFT regulates actin cortex mechanics. The reduced cortical tension is also consistent with the reduced bleb formation.This study demonstrates for the first time that the ciliary protein IFT88 regulates fundamental actin organisation and the stiffness of the actin cortex leading to alterations in cell deformation, mechanical properties and blebbing in an IFT88 chondrocyte cell line. This adds to the growing understanding of the role of primary cilia and IFT in regulating cartilage biology.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.joca.2015.10.003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Osteoarthritis and cartilage

Publication Date

03/2016

Volume

24

Pages

544 - 554

Addresses

Institute of Bioengineering and School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Keywords

Cartilage, Articular, Cells, Cultured, Cilia, Chondrocytes, Animals, Mice, Mutant Strains, Cytochalasin D, Actins, Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIB, Tumor Suppressor Proteins, Signal Transduction, Cell Shape, Mutation, Viscosity, Elasticity