Damien’s paper is out in Nature Communications!
September 23, 2020
Migrating cells move across diverse assemblies of extracellular matrix (ECM) that can be separated by micron-scale gaps. For membranes to protrude and reattach across a gap, actin filaments, which are relatively weak as single filaments, must polymerize outward from adhesion sites to push membranes towards distant sites of new adhesion. Here, using micropatterned ECMs, we identify T-Plastin, one of the most ancient actin bundling proteins, as an actin stabilizer that promotes membrane protrusions and enables bridging of ECM gaps. We show that T-Plastin widens and lengthens protrusions and is specifically enriched in active protrusions where F-actin is devoid of non-muscle myosin II activity. Together, our study uncovers critical roles of the actin bundler T-Plastin to promote protrusions and migration when adhesion is spatially-gapped.