- Top of page
- Mechanical force at focal adhesions
- Mechanotransduction at focal adhesions
- Cancer development under mechanical microenvironment via focal adhesions
- Competing interests
Living cells are continuously exposed to mechanical cues, and can translate these signals into biochemical information (e.g. mechanotransduction). This process is crucial in many normal cellular functions, e.g. cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and survival, as well as the progression of diseases such as cancer. Focal adhesions are the major sites of interactions between extracellular mechanical environments and intracellular biochemical signalling molecules/cytoskeleton, and hence focal adhesion proteins have been suggested to play important roles in mechanotransduction. Here, we overview the current molecular understanding in mechanotransduction occurring at focal adhesions. We also introduce recent studies on how extracellular matrix and mechanical microenvironments contribute to the development of cancer.