Skip to main content
Myosin II activity regulates vinculin recruitment to focal adhesions through FAK-mediated paxillin phosphorylation
Journal of Cell Biology
  • Ana M. Pasapera, National Institutes of Health
  • Ian C. Schneider, Iowa State University
  • Erin Rericha, University of Maryland - College Park
  • David D. Schlaepfer, University of California - San Diego
  • Clare M. Waterman, National Institutes of Health
Document Type
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
Focal adhesions (FAs) are mechanosensitive adhesion and signaling complexes that grow and change composition in response to myosin II-mediated cytoskeletal tension in a process known as FA maturation. To understand tension-mediated FA maturation, we sought to identify proteins that are recruited to FAs in a myosin II-dependent manner and to examine the mechanism for their myosin II-sensitive FA association. We find that FA recruitment of both the cytoskeletal adapter protein vinculin and the tyrosine kinase FA kinase (FAK) are myosin II and extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness dependent. Myosin II activity promotes FAK/Src-mediated phosphorylation of paxillin on tyrosines 31 and 118 and vinculin association with paxillin. We show that phosphomimic mutations of paxillin can specifically induce the recruitment of vinculin to adhesions independent of myosin II activity. These results reveal an important role for paxillin in adhesion mechanosensing via myosin II-mediated FAK phosphorylation of paxillin that promotes vinculin FA recruitment to reinforce the cytoskeletal ECM linkage and drive FA maturation.

This is an article from Journal of Cell Biology, 188 (2010): 877, doi: 10.1083/jcb.200906012. Posted with permission

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at
Copyright Owner
Pasapera et al
File Format
Citation Information
Ana M. Pasapera, Ian C. Schneider, Erin Rericha, David D. Schlaepfer, et al.. "Myosin II activity regulates vinculin recruitment to focal adhesions through FAK-mediated paxillin phosphorylation" Journal of Cell Biology Vol. 188 Iss. 6 (2010) p. 877 - 890
Available at: