Cyclic stretch-induced stress fiber dynamics - dependence on strain rate, Rho-kinase and MLCK. Academic Article uri icon


  • Stress fiber realignment is an important adaptive response to cyclic stretch for nonmuscle cells, but the mechanism by which such reorganization occurs is not known. By analyzing stress fiber dynamics using live cell microscopy, we revealed that stress fiber reorientation perpendicular to the direction of cyclic uniaxial stretching at 1 Hz did not involve disassembly of the stress fiber distal ends located at focal adhesion sites. Instead, these distal ends were often used to assemble new stress fibers oriented progressively further away from the direction of stretch. Stress fiber disassembly and reorientation were not induced when the frequency of stretch was decreased to 0.01 Hz, however. Treatment with the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y27632 reduced stress fibers to thin fibers located in the cell periphery which bundled together to form thick fibers oriented parallel to the direction of stretching at 1Hz. In contrast, these thin fibers remained diffuse in cells subjected to stretch at 0.01 Hz. Cyclic stretch at 1 Hz also induced actin fiber formation parallel to the direction of stretch in cells treated with the myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) inhibitor ML-7, but these fibers were located centrally rather than peripherally. These results shed new light on the mechanism by which stress fibers reorient in response to cyclic stretch in different regions of the actin cytoskeleton.

published proceedings

  • Biochem Biophys Res Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, C., Haase, C., Deguchi, S., & Kaunas, R.

citation count

  • 79

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Chin-Fu||Haase, Candice||Deguchi, Shinji||Kaunas, Roland

publication date

  • January 2010