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Binding Of ZO-1 To α5β1 Integrins Regulates The Mechanical Properties Of α5β1–fibronectin Links

Víctor González-Tarragó, Alberto Elosegui-Artola, Elsa Bazellières, Roger Oria, Carlos Pérez-González, Pere Roca-Cusachs

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Fundamental processes in cell adhesion, motility, and rigidity adaptation are regulated by integrin-mediated adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). The link between the ECM component fibronectin (fn) and integrin α5β1 forms a complex with ZO-1 in cells at the edge of migrating monolayers, regulating cell migration. However, how this complex affects the α5β1-fn link is unknown. Here we show that the α5β1/ZO-1 complex decreases the resistance to force of α5β1–fn adhesions located at the edge of migrating cell monolayers while also increasing α5β1 recruitment. Consistently with a molecular clutch model of adhesion, this effect of ZO-1 leads to a decrease in the density and intensity of adhesions in cells at the edge of migrating monolayers. Taken together, our results unveil a new mode of integrin regulation through modification of the mechanical properties of integrin–ECM links, which may be harnessed by cells to control adhesion and migration.