Mechanosensing in cell-matrix adhesions - Converting tension into chemical signals

Exp Cell Res. 2016 Apr 10;343(1):35-41. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2015.10.027. Epub 2015 Oct 27.


Cell-matrix adhesions have since long been recognized to be critical for the survival and proliferation of cells. In fact, these adhesive structures do not only physically anchor cells, but they also induce vital intracellular signaling at cell-matrix adhesion sites. Recent progress in the cell adhesion field is now starting to provide data and ideas how this so far enigmatic signaling process is induced and regulated by intracellular acto-myosin tension, or stiffness of the extracellular matrix. Understanding how cells are using this mechanosignaling system will be key to control biological processes such as development, cancer growth, metastasis formation and tissue regeneration. In this review, we illustrate and discuss the mechanosignaling mechanisms important in the regulation of cell-matrix adhesions at the molecular level.

Keywords: Conformation; FAK; Fibronectin; Integrin; Paxillin; Talin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Models, Biological
  • Stress, Mechanical*
  • Talin / metabolism


  • Talin