(607e) The Role of the Linc Complex in Cell Migration

Tamashunas, A., University of Florida
Dickinson, R., University of Florida
Lele, T., University of Florida
Odde, D., University of Minnesota
The LINC complex is known to link the nucleus to the cytoskeleton, and disrupting the LINC complex causes defects in cell migration. It has been proposed that the LINC complex participates in the motor-clutch model of cell migration, but its role has not been quantitatively explored. Here, we interpret the cell body 'spring' in the motor clutch model as representing the LINC complex. Simulations showed that there exists an optimal "cell body spring constant" stiffness at which cell motility is at a maximum. Further reduction below this optimal stiffness (i.e. a 'softer' connection, or disrupted/reduced linkages between the lamellopodium to the "cell body") results in a decrease in cell motility qualitatively consistent with experiment. Further, there is a concomitant increase in traction force upon reducing the LINC complex stiffness below the optimal value, again qualitatively consistent with experiments. These results suggest that the LINC complex is an integral component of the motor clutch model, acting as an intracellular analog to cell-substrate adhesions to develop tension and regulate cell motility and traction.