Mechanotransduction in cells


  • Wolfgang H Goldmann

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Medical Physics and Technology, Biophysics Group, FriedrichAlexanderUniversity of ErlangenNuremberg, Henkestrasse 91, 91052 Erlangen, Germany
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Cell—matrix and cell—cell adhesions critically influence cell metabolism, protein synthesis, cell survival, cytoskeletal architecture and consequently cell mechanical properties such as migration, spreading and contraction. An important group of adhesive transmembrane receptors that mechanically link the ECM (extracellular matrix) with the internal cytoskeleton are integrins which are intimately connected with the FAs (focal adhesions) which consists of many proteins. The transient formation of FAs is greatly augmented either through externally applied tension to the cell or internally through myosin II-driven cell contractility. Exactly which protein(s) within FAs sense, transmit and respond to mechanical stress is currently debated and numerous candidates have been proposed.