Cellular Dewetting : Opening of Macroapertures in Endothelial Cells

Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 218105 – May 2012

Pathogenic bacteria can cross from blood vessels to host tissues by opening transendothelial cell macroapertures (TEMs). To induce TEM opening, bacteria intoxicate endothelial cells with proteins that disrupt the contractile cytoskeletal network. Cell membrane tension is no longer resisted by contractile fibers, leading to the opening of TEMs. Here we model the opening of TEMs as a new form of dewetting. While liquid dewetting is irreversible, we show that cellular dewetting is transient. Our model predicts the minimum radius […]