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Keywords:

  • cytoskeleton;
  • focal adhesions;
  • integrins;
  • mechanotransduction

Abstract

Cellular FAs (focal adhesions) respond to internal and external mechanical stresses which make them prime candidates for mechanotransduction. Recent observations showed that the FA proteins including vinculin, FAK (FA kinase) and p130Cas are crucial for the ability of cells to transmit forces and to generate cytoskeletal tension. When mechanically stimulated, cells respond by modulating the spreading area, remodel the actin cytoskeleton, activate actomyosin interactions, recruit integrins and reinforce FAs and cytoskeletal structures. These complex cellular responses are orchestrated such that mechanical stresses within the FA complex remained within a narrow range.