Bioinspired Membrane Interfaces: Controlling Actomyosin Architecture and Contractility


Liebe NL, Mey I, Vuong L, Shikho F, Geil B, Janshoff A, Steinem C


ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces


ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2023 Mar 8;15(9):11586-11598.


The creation of biologically inspired artificial lipid bilayers on planar supports provides a unique platform to study membrane-confined processes in a well-controlled setting. At the plasma membrane of mammalian cells, the linkage of the filamentous (F)-actin network is of pivotal importance leading to cell-specific and dynamic F-actin architectures, which are essential for the cell’s shape, mechanical resilience, and biological function. These networks are established through the coordinated action of diverse actin-binding proteins and the presence of the plasma membrane. Here, we established phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns[4,5]P2)-doped supported planar lipid bilayers to which contractile actomyosin networks were bound via the membrane–actin linker ezrin. This membrane system, amenable to high-resolution fluorescence microscopy, enabled us to analyze the connectivity and contractility of the actomyosin network. We found that the network architecture and dynamics are not only a function of the PtdIns[4,5]P2 concentration but also depend on the presence of negatively charged phosphatidylserine (PS). PS drives the attached network into a regime, where low but physiologically relevant connectivity to the membrane results in strong contractility of the actomyosin network, emphasizing the importance of the lipid composition of the membrane interface.


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