Yareni A. Ayala, Bruno Pontes, Barbara Hissa, Ana Carolina M. Monteiro, Marcos Farina, Vivaldo Moura-Neto, Nathan B. Viana, H. Moysés Nussenzveig
Mechanical properties of cells are known to be influenced by the actin cytoskeleton. In this article, the action of drugs that interact with the actin cortex is investigated by tether extraction and rheology experiments using optical tweezers. The influences of Blebbistatin, Cytochalasin D and Jasplakinolide on the cell mechanical properties are evaluated. The results, in contradiction to current views for Jasplakinolide, show that all three drugs and treatments destabilize the actin cytoskeleton, decreasing the cell membrane tension. The cell membrane bending modulus increased when the actin cytoskeleton was disorganized by Cytochalasin D. This effect was not observed for Blebbistatin and Jasplakinolide. All drugs decreased by two-fold the cell viscoelastic moduli, but only Cytochalasin D was able to alter the actin network into a more fluid-like structure. The results can be interpreted as the interplay between the actin network and the distribution of myosins as actin cross-linkers in the cytoskeleton. This information may contribute to a better understanding of how the membrane and cytoskeleton are involved in cell mechanical properties, underlining the role that each one plays in these properties.