Mechanisms and mechanics of cell competition in epithelia

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;14(9):581-91. doi: 10.1038/nrm3639. Epub 2013 Aug 14.


When fast-growing cells are confronted with slow-growing cells in a mosaic tissue, the slow-growing cells are often progressively eliminated by apoptosis through a process known as cell competition. The underlying signalling pathways remain unknown, but recent findings have shown that cell crowding within an epithelium leads to the eviction of cells from the epithelial sheet. This suggests that mechanical forces could contribute to cell elimination during cell competition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Stress, Physiological