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Cell Tissue Res. 2013 Apr;352(1):77-94. doi: 10.1007/s00441-012-1531-4. Epub 2012 Dec 8.

Mechanical cues in cellular signalling and communication.

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Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Multicellular organisms comprise an organized array of individual cells surrounded by a meshwork of biomolecules and fluids. Cells have evolved various ways to communicate with each other, so that they can exchange information and thus fulfil their specified and unique functions. At the same time, cells are also physical entities that are subjected to a variety of local and global mechanical cues arising in the microenvironment. Cells are equipped with several different mechanisms to sense the physical properties of the microenvironment and the mechanical forces arising within it. These mechanical cues can elicit a variety of responses that have been shown to play a crucial role in vivo. In this review, we discuss the current views and understanding of cell mechanics and demonstrate the emerging evidence of the interplay between physiological mechanical cues and cell-cell communication pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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