There is increasing evidence that force impacts almost every aspect of cells and tissues in physiology and disease including gene regulation. However, the molecular pathway of force transmission from the nuclear lamina to the chromatin remain largely elusive. Here we employ two different approaches of a local stress on cell apical surface via an RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp)-coated magnetic bead and whole cell deformation at cell basal surface via uniaxial or biaxial deformation of a fibronectin-coated flexible polydimethylsiloxane substrate. We find that nuclear protein LAP2β mediates force transmission from the nuclear lamina to the chromatin. Knocking down LAP2β increases spontaneous movements of the chromatin by reducing tethering of the chromatin and substantially inhibits the magnetic bead-stress or the substrate-deformation induced chromatin domain stretching and the ensuing dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene upregulation. Analysis of DHFR gene-containing chromatin domain alignments along or perpendicular to the direction of the stretching/compressing reveals that the chromatin domain must be stretched and not compressed in order for the gene to be rapidly upregulated. Together these results suggest that external-load induced rapid transcription upregulation originates from chromatin domain stretching but not compressing and depends on the molecular force transmission pathway of LAP2β. Statement of significance: How force regulates gene expression has been elusive. Here we show that the orientation of the chromatin domain relative to the stress direction is crucial in determining if the chromatin domain will be stretched or compressed in response to a cell surface loading. We also show that nuclear protein Lap2b is a critical molecule that mediates force transmission from the nuclear laminar to the chromatin to regulate gene transcription. This study reveals the molecular force transmission pathway for force-induced gene regulation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology