Theory of force regulation by nascent adhesion sites

Biophys J. 2005 Jul;89(1):87-94. doi: 10.1529/biophysj.104.048280. Epub 2005 Apr 22.


The mechanical coupling of a cell with the extracellular matrix relies on adhesion sites, clusters of membrane-associated proteins that communicate forces generated along the F-Actin filaments of the cytoskeleton to connecting tissue. Nascent adhesion sites have been shown to regulate these forces in response to tissue rigidity. Force-regulation by substrate rigidity of adhesion sites with fixed area is not possible for stationary adhesion sites, according to elasticity theory. A simple model is presented to describe force regulation by dynamical adhesion sites.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Biophysics / methods*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Integrin beta Chains / chemistry
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Protein Conformation
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Thermodynamics
  • Tissue Adhesions


  • Actins
  • Integrin beta Chains
  • Ligands