(346h) Direct Forcing of the Cellular Nucleus Reveals That Transient, Tensile Stresses Can Cause Nuclear Membrane Rupture

Authors: 
Lele, T., University of Florida
Zhang, Q., University of Florida
Tamashunas, A., University of Florida
Agrawal, A., University of Houston
Dickinson, R., University of Florida
Katiyar, A., University of Florida
Torbati, M., Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Lammerding, J., Cornell University
Cancer cell migration through narrow constrictions generates compressive stresses on the nucleus that deform it and cause rupture of nuclear membranes. Nuclear membrane rupture allows uncontrolled exchange between nuclear and cytoplasmic contents. Local tensile stresses can also cause nuclear deformations, but whether such deformations are accompanied by nuclear membrane rupture is unknown. Here we used a direct force probe to locally deform the nucleus by applying a transient tensile stress to the nuclear membrane. We found that a transient (∼0.2 s) deformation (∼1% projected area strain) in normal mammary epithelial cells (MCF-10A cells) was sufficient to cause rupture of the nuclear membrane. Nuclear membrane rupture scaled with the magnitude of nuclear deformation and the magnitude of applied tensile stress. Comparison of diffusive fluxes of nuclear probes between wild-type and lamin-depleted MCF-10A cells revealed that lamin A/C, but not lamin B2, protects the nuclear membranes against rupture from tensile stress. Our experimental results show that the direct force probe can be an effective tool to engineer ruptures in the nuclear membranes in adherent living cells, and that transient nuclear deformations typically caused by local tensile stresses are sufficient to cause nuclear membrane rupture.