Correlative fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy: An elegant tool to study the actin cytoskeleton of whole-mount (breast) cancer cells

Jahn, K.A., Barton, D.A., Su, Y., Riches, J.D., Kable, E.P.W., Soon, L.L., & Braet, F. (2009) Correlative fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy: An elegant tool to study the actin cytoskeleton of whole-mount (breast) cancer cells. Journal of Microscopy, 235(3), pp. 282-292.

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Elucidating the structure and dynamics of lamellipodia and filopodia in response to different stimuli is a topic of continuing interest in cancer cells as these structures may be attractive targets for therapeutic purposes. Interestingly, a close functional relationship between these actin-rich protrusions and specialized membrane domains has been recently demonstrated. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the fine organization of these actin-rich structures and examine how they structurally may relate to detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) domains in the MTLn3 EGF/serum starvation model. For this reason, we designed a straightforward and alternative method to study cytoskeleton arrays and their associated structures by means of correlative fluorescence (/laser)- and electron microscopy (CFEM).

CFEM on whole mounted breast cancer cells revealed that a lamellipodium is composed of an intricate filamentous actin web organized in various patterns after different treatments. Both actin dots and DRM's were resolved, and were closely interconnected with the surrounding cytoskeleton. Long actin filaments were repeatedly observed extending beyond the leading edge and their density and length varied after different treatments. Furthermore, CFEM also allowed us to demonstrate the close structural association of DRMs with the cytoskeleton in general and the filamentous/dot-like structural complexes in particular, suggesting that they are all functionally linked and consequently may regulate the cell's fingertip dynamics. Finally, electron tomographic modelling on the same CFEM samples confirmed that these extensions are clearly embedded within the cytoskeletal matrix of the lamellipodium.

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9 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 94942
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2009.03223.x
ISSN: 1365-2818
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 18 Apr 2016 22:44
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 15:01

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