5_11/2009Surface patterning: Small 11/2009

The cover illustration shows the use of ligand-patterned surfaces to study the spatio-temporal organization of integrins mediating cell adhesion on cells of the immune system. Micro-contact printing is used to fabricate large chemically confined areas containing the ligand ICAM-1. The dynamic organization of the integrin LFA-1 in living cells is monitored at the single-molecule level using total reflection microscopy. LFA-1 binding to its ligand ICAM-1 promotes the formation of nano- and microclustering on the cell surface that remains largely immobile. In contrast, in the absence of the ligand (free areas in the cover image), LFA-1 diffuses randomly without interaction with the cytoskeleton. This simple experimental approach allows the study of the intricate coupling between spatial organization, lateral diffusion, and conformational states of receptors orchestrating cell adhesion. For more information, please read the Communication “Dynamic Re-organization of Individual Adhesion Nanoclusters in Living Cells by Ligand-Patterned Surfaces” by M. F. Garcia-Parajo et al., beginning on page 1258.

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