Mechanical forces and feedbacks in cell motility

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Oct;25(5):550-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Jul 13.


Cell movement is driven by a self-organized assembly of numerous actin polymers and accessory proteins surrounded by a flexible membrane. While the identity of the molecular components involved is largely known, we are still far from understanding how this enormous ensemble of molecules self-organizes into a dynamic motile cell. A great deal of work in the field has focused on the role of biochemical signaling in establishing and maintaining cellular organization. More recently, mechanical forces and feedbacks have emerged as equally important contributors to the large-scale organization of motile cells. Here we review recent progress in the field, focusing on processes related to the actin cytoskeleton and its interplay with the cell membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cytoskeleton / chemistry
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction


  • Actins