Microinjection of antibodies against talin inhibits the spreading and migration of fibroblasts

G. H. Nuckolls, L. H. Romer, K. Burridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Talin is believed to be one of the key proteins involved in linking actin filaments to extracellular matrix receptors in focal adhesions. Our strategy for studying the function of talin has been to inactivate talin in living fibroblasts in tissue culture through the microinjection of affinity-purified, polyclonal anti-talin antibodies. The effect of the injected anti-talin antibodies on cell spreading was found to depend on how recently the cells had been plated. Cells that were in the process of spreading on a fibronectin substratum, and which had newly developed focal adhesions, were induced to round up and to disassemble many of the adhesions. However, if fibroblasts were allowed to spread completely before they were microinjected with the anti-talin antibody, focal adhesions remained intact and the flat morphology of the cells was unaffected. The percentage of cells that were able to maintain a spread morphology despite the injection of anti-talin antibodies increased during the first few hours after plating on fibronectin substrata. Fibroblasts that were allowed to spread completely before microinjection with the anti-talin antibody retained both intact focal adhesions and a flat, wellspread morphology, but failed to migrate effectively. Our experiments do not directly address the role of talin in mature focal adhesions, but they indicate that talin is essential for the spreading and migration of fibroblasts on fibronectin as well as for the development and initial maintenance of focal adhesions on this substratum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-762
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Focal adhesions
  • Microinjection
  • Migration
  • Talin
  • Vinculin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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