Stretchy proteins on stretchy substrates: the important elements of integrin-mediated rigidity sensing

Dev Cell. 2010 Aug 17;19(2):194-206. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2010.07.018.


Matrix and tissue rigidity guides many cellular processes, including the differentiation of stem cells and the migration of cells in health and disease. Cells actively and transiently test rigidity using mechanisms limited by inherent physical parameters that include the strength of extracellular attachments, the pulling capacity on these attachments, and the sensitivity of the mechanotransduction system. Here, we focus on rigidity sensing mediated through the integrin family of extracellular matrix receptors and linked proteins and discuss the evidence supporting these proteins as mechanosensors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Elasticity
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Integrins / chemistry
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Mechanoreceptors / chemistry
  • Mechanoreceptors / metabolism
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / physiology*
  • Models, Biological


  • Integrins