Septins provide microenvironment sensing and cortical actomyosin partitioning in motile amoeboid T lymphocytes

Alexander S. Zhovmer, Alexis Manning, Chynna Smith, Ashley Nguyen, Olivia Prince, Pablo J. Sáez, Xuefei Ma, Denis Tsygankov, Alexander X. Cartagena-Rivera, Niloy A. Singh, Rakesh K. Singh, Erdem D. Tabdanov

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The all-terrain motility of lymphocytes in tissues and tissue-like gels is best described as amoeboid motility. For amoeboid motility, lymphocytes do not require specific biochemical or structural modifications to the surrounding extracellular matrix. Instead, they rely on changing shape and steric interactions with the microenvironment. However, the exact mechanism of amoeboid motility remains elusive. Here, we report that septins participate in amoeboid motility of T cells, enabling the formation of F-actin and α-actinin- rich cortical rings at the sites of cell cortex-indenting collisions with the extracellular matrix. Cortical rings compartmentalize cells into chains of spherical segments that are spatially conformed to the available lumens, forming transient "hourglass"-shaped steric locks onto the surrounding collagen fibers. The steric lock facilitates pressure-driven peristaltic propulsion of cytosolic content by individually contracting cell segments. Our results suggest that septins provide microenvironment-guided partitioning of actomyosin contractility and steric pivots required for amoeboid motility of T cells in tissue-like microenvironments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadi1788
JournalScience Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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