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Keywords:

  • cell mechanics;
  • focal adhesions;
  • p130Cas;
  • vinculin

Abstract

Adherent cells, when mechanically stressed, show a wide range of responses including large-scale changes in their mechanical behaviour and gene expression pattern. This is in part facilitated by activating the focal adhesion (FA) protein p130Cas through force-induced conformational changes that lead to the phosphorylation by src family kinases. Janostiak et al. [Janostiak et al. Cell Mol Life Sci (2013) DOI 10.1007/s00018-013-1450-x] have reported that the phosphorylation site Y12 on the SH3 domain of p130Cas modulates the binding with vinculin, a prominent mechano-coupling protein in FAs. Tension changes in FAs (due to the anchorage of the SH3 domain and C-terminal) bring about an extension of the substrate domain of p130Cas by unmasking the phosphorylation sites. These observations demonstrate that vinculin is an important modulator of the p130Cas-mediated mechano-transduction pathway in cells. The central aim should be now to test that vinculin is critical for p130Cas incorporation into the focal adhesion complex and for transmitting forces to the p130Cas molecule.