Responses of tumor cell pseudopod protrusion to changes in medium osmolality

Jun You, Sadie Aznavoorian, Lance A. Liotta, Cheng Dong

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12 Scopus citations


The potential involvement of osmotically generated force in protrusion of tumor cell pseudopods was examined during a micropipette assay. Experiments were performed on single A2058 melanoma cells activated by a micropipette filled with soluble type IV collagen. Previous observations suggested that tumor cell psudopod protrusion induced by type IV collagen took place in distinct, separable phases: an initial bleb (first phase) caused by localized Ca2+-activated actin filament severing resulting in an osmotic flux followed by an extension with an irregular shape (second phase) which required C protein-mediated actin polymerization (Dong et al., 1994, Microvasc. Res., 47:55-67). Presently we studied cell pseudopod protrusion in response to the changes in chemoattractant osmolality. Reduction of attractant osmolality by 20-25% from its baseline value (297 mmol/ kg) resulted in an increase in pseudopod length by 50% apparent in the initial phase. Increases in attractant osmolality by 25-30% from the baseline value arrested pseudopod protrusion significantly during both initial and later phases. Using a dual-pipette method, such osmotic influence on the cell pseudopod protrusion was shown to be only a local effect in a small region where the cell surface was stimulated by the micropipette. While forces derived from actin polymerization and osmotic pressure have been proposed to cause protrusion in general, our results suggested that osmotically generated force is more apparent in the initial phase of the pseudopod formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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