Focal adhesions (FAs) are multiprotein structures that link the intracellular cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix. They mediate cell adhesion and migration, crucial to many (patho-) physiological processes. We examined in two cell types from different species the binding dynamics of functionally related FA protein pairs: paxillin and vinculin versus zyxin and VASP. In photobleaching experiments ~40% of paxillin and vinculin remained stably associated with a FA for over half an hour. Zyxin and VASP predominantly displayed more transient interactions. We show protein binding dynamics are influenced by FA location and orientation. In FAs located close to the edge of the adherent membrane paxillin, zyxin and VASP were more dynamic and had larger bound fractions. Zyxin and VASP were also more dynamic and had larger bound fractions at FAs perpendicular compared to parallel to this edge. Finally, we developed a photoconversion assay to specifically visualise stably bound proteins within subcellular structures and organelles. This revealed that while paxillin and vinculin are distributed evenly throughout FAs, their stably bound fractions form small clusters within the FA-complex. These clusters are more concentrated for paxillin than for vinculin and are mostly found at the proximal half of the FA where actin also enters.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal Scientific Reports
Legerstee, K. (Karin), Geverts, B, Slotman, J.A, & Houtsmuller, A.B. (2019). Dynamics and distribution of paxillin, vinculin, zyxin and VASP depend on focal adhesion location and orientation. Scientific Reports, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-46905-2