Regulation of genome organization and gene expression by nuclear mechanotransduction

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2017 Dec;18(12):717-727. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2017.101. Epub 2017 Oct 18.


It is well established that cells sense chemical signals from their local microenvironment and transduce them to the nucleus to regulate gene expression programmes. Although a number of experiments have shown that mechanical cues can also modulate gene expression, the underlying mechanisms are far from clear. Nevertheless, we are now beginning to understand how mechanical cues are transduced to the nucleus and how they influence nuclear mechanics, genome organization and transcription. In particular, recent progress in super-resolution imaging, in genome-wide application of RNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation and chromosome conformation capture and in theoretical modelling of 3D genome organization enables the exploration of the relationship between cell mechanics, 3D chromatin configurations and transcription, thereby shedding new light on how mechanical forces regulate gene expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / physiology*
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / physiology*
  • Genome, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / physiology*
  • Models, Genetic*


  • Chromatin