Mechanosensing

Cells do not only orchestrate a highly complex machinery of proteins to exert forces, but they also rely on an equally fascinating machinery to sense and react to mechanical cues. While considerable progress in a molecular understanding of the force producing mechanism during cell migration, cellular transport and also cell division has been achieved in the recent years, we are just standing at the beginning of addressing the sensing machinery and its implications for the proper execution of many cell functions - including the control of its mechanical properties and cytoskeletal organization, cell division and development and cell differentiation and morphogenesis. While a considerable amount of evidence had been accumulated on the manifold of mechanotransduction phenomena, the generic mechanism and its biochemical consequences need yet to be identified.