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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2012) 36, 649–652 (Printed in Great Britain)
Mechanotransduction and focal adhesions
Wolfgang H. Goldmann1
Center for Medical Physics and Technology, Biophysics Group, FriedrichAlexanderUniversity of ErlangenNuremberg, Henkestrasse 91, 91052 Erlangen, Germany

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.

Key words: cytoskeleton, focal adhesions, integrins, mechanotransduction

Abbreviations: ECM, extracellular matrix, ERK1/2, extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2, FA, focal adhesion, FAK, FA kinase, MAPK, mitogen-activated protein kinase, SH2, Src homology 2


Received 30 March 2012/5 April 2012; accepted 24 April 2012

Published online 8 June 2012, doi:10.1042/CBI20120184

© The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2012 International Federation for Cell Biology

ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)