Interaction of fibronectin-coated beads with attached and spread fibroblasts. Binding, phagocytosis, and cytoskeletal reorganization

Frederick Grinnell, Benjamin Geiger

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51 Scopus citations


After 15 min incubations, binding of 0.8-, 6-, and 16-μm fibronectin-coated latex beads occurred primarily at the margins of chick embryo fibroblasts that previously were attached and spread on fibronectin-coated glass coverslips. Extensive phagocytosis of the smallest beads and some phagocytosis of the larger beads occurred within 2 h. Following binding of the 16-μm beads, there were no changes in overall cell shape or in the distribution of several cytoskeletal proteins. There was, however, a local accumulation of actin and α-actinin patches adjacent to the sites where the beads were bound. The formation of α-actinin patches could be detected with 6- or 16-μm beads shortly after initial bead binding to the cells, but a similar reorganization of α-actinin in response to the binding of 0.8-μm beads was not detected. The patches of α-actinin appeared to be associated with membrane ruffles, since such structures were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to be sites of cell interaction with 6- but not 0.8-μm beads. Also, two other cytoskeletal proteins normally absent from membrane ruffles, tropomyosin and vinculin, were not detected at the sites of cell-bead interaction. No reorganization of vinculin at the cell-bead interaction sites was observed even when the 16-μm beads remained bound at the cell surfaces for up to 6 h. Nevertheless, prominent vinculin plaques were observed at the marginal attachment sites on the ventral cell surfaces. Consequently, formation of mature focal adhesions may be restricted to linear regions of cell-substratum interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-461
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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