Contact guidance refers to the ability of cells to sense the geometrical features of the microenvironment and respond by changing their shape and adopting the appropriate orientation. Inhibition and ablation of nonmuscle myosin 2 (NM2) paralogues have demonstrated their importance for contact guidance. However, the specific roles of the NM2 paralogues have not been systematically studied. In this work we use micropatterned substrates to examine the roles of NM2A and NM2B and to elucidate the relationship of the microenvironment, actomyosin, and microtubules in contact guidance. We show that contact guidance is preserved following loss of NM2B and that expression of NM2A alone is sufficient to establish an appropriate orientation of the cells. Loss of NM2B and overexpression of NM2A result in a prominent cell polarization that is found to be linked to the increased alignment of microtubules with the actomyosin scaffold. Suppression of actomyosin with blebbistatin reduces cell polarity on a flat surface, but not on a surface with contact guidance cues. This indicates that the lost microtubule–actomyosin interactions are compensated for by microtubule–mi-croenvironment interactions, which are sufficient to establish cell polarity through contact guidance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology