Cells migrate in vivo through complex confining microenvironments, which induce significant nuclear deformation that may lead to nuclear blebbing and nuclear envelope rupture. While actomyosin contractility has been implicated in regulating nuclear envelope integrity, the exact mechanism remains unknown. Here, we argue that confinement-induced activation of RhoA/ myosin-II contractility, coupled with LINC complex-dependent nuclear anchoring at the cell posterior, locally increases cytoplasmic pressure and promotes passive influx of cytoplasmic constituents into the nucleus without altering nuclear efflux. Elevated nuclear influx is accompanied by nuclear volume expansion, blebbing, and rupture, ultimately resulting in reduced cell motility. Moreover, inhibition of nuclear efflux is sufficient to increase nuclear volume and blebbing on two-dimensional surfaces, and acts synergistically with RhoA/myosin-II contractility to further augment blebbing in confinement. Cumulatively, confinement regulates nuclear size, nuclear integrity, and cell motility by perturbing nuclear flux homeostasis via a RhoA-dependent pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology