Characterization of cholesterol-depleted or -restored cell membranes by depth-sensing nano-indentation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cholesterol is a major component of eukaryotic cell membranes. It is well-accepted that cholesterol depletion triggers a complicated cascade of biochemical reactions which may affect many cell processes. However, the effect of cholesterol depletion on the deformability of cell membranes is still controversial. In this study, depth-sensing nano-indentation is performed on the lamellipodium of adherent NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells with normal, depleted, and restored membrane cholesterol contents. By extracting data from contact stiffness measurement, nano-mechanical characterizations are focused at a depth within the superficial 20 nm of the tested cells. Our results show that cholesterol depletion indeed decreases membrane stiffness, while the membrane stiffness decreases exponentially with the increase of cholesterol-depletion time. In addition, the effect of cholesterol restoration following depletion is further examined, showing that cholesterol restoration reverses the effect of cholesterol depletion on both cellular morphology and membrane stiffness. This is the first study, focused on nano-mechanical characterization of cellular outermost layers, demonstrating the effect of altered cholesterol content on the stiffness of cell membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-687
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 21

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cholesterol
Nanoindentation
Cell membranes
nanoindentation
Cholesterol
depletion
stiffness
Stiffness
membranes
Membranes
restoration
Restoration
fibroblasts
Fibroblasts
Formability
cells
cascades
actuators
Cells

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

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title = "Characterization of cholesterol-depleted or -restored cell membranes by depth-sensing nano-indentation",
abstract = "Cholesterol is a major component of eukaryotic cell membranes. It is well-accepted that cholesterol depletion triggers a complicated cascade of biochemical reactions which may affect many cell processes. However, the effect of cholesterol depletion on the deformability of cell membranes is still controversial. In this study, depth-sensing nano-indentation is performed on the lamellipodium of adherent NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells with normal, depleted, and restored membrane cholesterol contents. By extracting data from contact stiffness measurement, nano-mechanical characterizations are focused at a depth within the superficial 20 nm of the tested cells. Our results show that cholesterol depletion indeed decreases membrane stiffness, while the membrane stiffness decreases exponentially with the increase of cholesterol-depletion time. In addition, the effect of cholesterol restoration following depletion is further examined, showing that cholesterol restoration reverses the effect of cholesterol depletion on both cellular morphology and membrane stiffness. This is the first study, focused on nano-mechanical characterization of cellular outermost layers, demonstrating the effect of altered cholesterol content on the stiffness of cell membranes.",
author = "Yang, {Yun Ta} and Jiunn-Der Liao and Chou-Ching Lin and Chang, {Cheng Tao} and Shyh-Hau Wang and Ming-Shaung Ju",
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Characterization of cholesterol-depleted or -restored cell membranes by depth-sensing nano-indentation. / Yang, Yun Ta; Liao, Jiunn-Der; Lin, Chou-Ching; Chang, Cheng Tao; Wang, Shyh-Hau; Ju, Ming-Shaung.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 8, No. 3, 21.01.2012, p. 682-687.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Yang, Yun Ta

AU - Liao, Jiunn-Der

AU - Lin, Chou-Ching

AU - Chang, Cheng Tao

AU - Wang, Shyh-Hau

AU - Ju, Ming-Shaung

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AB - Cholesterol is a major component of eukaryotic cell membranes. It is well-accepted that cholesterol depletion triggers a complicated cascade of biochemical reactions which may affect many cell processes. However, the effect of cholesterol depletion on the deformability of cell membranes is still controversial. In this study, depth-sensing nano-indentation is performed on the lamellipodium of adherent NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells with normal, depleted, and restored membrane cholesterol contents. By extracting data from contact stiffness measurement, nano-mechanical characterizations are focused at a depth within the superficial 20 nm of the tested cells. Our results show that cholesterol depletion indeed decreases membrane stiffness, while the membrane stiffness decreases exponentially with the increase of cholesterol-depletion time. In addition, the effect of cholesterol restoration following depletion is further examined, showing that cholesterol restoration reverses the effect of cholesterol depletion on both cellular morphology and membrane stiffness. This is the first study, focused on nano-mechanical characterization of cellular outermost layers, demonstrating the effect of altered cholesterol content on the stiffness of cell membranes.

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