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Responses of Cell Shape and Migration to Dorsal Integrin Anchorage

Beningo et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101:18024-18029 (2004)

Cells cultured on 2D surfaces and 3D matrices show dramatically different morphology and behavior. To test the hypothesis that the difference is due to the dramatic asymmetry between integrin-matrix engagement on dorsal and ventral membranes in 2D environment, 3T3 fibroblasts on flexible polyacrylamide substrates were overlaid with a similar flexible substrate on top.

Responses of 3T3 Cells to Dorsal Integrin Anchorage

Most cells on 2D surfaces show a flat, spread morphology with expanded lamellipodia (left). Most cells embedded in the sandwich show an elongated, bipolar or tripolar morphology (right), and appear to glide across the surface without clear phases of extension and retraction. Recording time, 16 hours.