Mechanotransduction research focuses on understanding how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli by converting mechanical signals into biochemical and biological responses. Cells have been shown to respond to mechanical stimuli through specialized biological machinery such as adhesion complexes. Research in the last two decades helped in identifying key components of cellular mechanotransduction. In recent years, integrated approaches, which are highlighted here, are emerging to provide new insights into the mechanistic and theoretical underpinnings of mechanotransduction. In particular, mathematical modeling has helped elucidate the mechanism underlining ligand spacing and distribution sensing, as well as sensing viscoelastic properties of the extracellular matrix. In addition, molecular tension sensors have helped dissect the forces involved in mechanotransduction at high spatial and temporal resolutions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr Louis Prahl and Sarah Anderson for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grants U54-CA-210190 and R01-CA-172986 to DJO.
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