Force Matters: Biomechanical Regulation of Cell Invasion and Migration in Disease

Trends Cell Biol. 2016 Jul;26(7):486-497. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


Atherosclerosis, cancer, and various chronic fibrotic conditions are characterized by an increase in the migratory behavior of resident cells and the enhanced invasion of assorted exogenous cells across a stiffened extracellular matrix (ECM). This stiffened scaffold aberrantly engages cellular mechanosignaling networks in cells, which promotes the assembly of invadosomes and lamellae for cell invasion and migration. Accordingly, deciphering the conserved molecular mechanisms whereby matrix stiffness fosters invadosome and lamella formation could identify therapeutic targets to treat fibrotic conditions, and reducing ECM stiffness could ameliorate disease progression.

Keywords: cancer; cardiovascular disease; extracellular matrix stiffness; fibrosis; invasion; migration.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cell Movement*
  • Disease*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Podosomes / pathology