Decoding mechanical cues by molecular mechanotransduction

Vinay Swaminathan, Martijn Gloerich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cells are exposed to a variety of mechanical cues, including forces from their local environment and physical properties of the tissue. These mechanical cues regulate a vast number of cellular processes, relying on a repertoire of mechanosensors that transduce forces into biochemical pathways through mechanotransduction. Forces can act on different parts of the cell, carry information regarding magnitude and direction, and have distinct temporal profiles. Thus, the specific cellular response to mechanical forces is dependent on the ability of cells to sense and transduce these physical parameters. In this review, we will highlight recent findings that provide insights into the mechanisms by which different mechanosensors decode mechanical cues and how their coordinated response determines the cellular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors apologize to colleagues whose work could not be included because of space limitations. They thank Guillaume Jacquemet (University of Turku), Ben Goult (University of Kent), Pontus Nordenfelt (Lund University), and members of their laboratories for helpful discussions. This work was supported by Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation (KAW, WCMM Lund) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO; 016.Vidi.189.166 and NWO gravitational program

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


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