Crosstalk between mechanotransduction and metabolism

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Jan;22(1):22-38. doi: 10.1038/s41580-020-00306-w. Epub 2020 Nov 13.


Mechanical forces shape cells and tissues during development and adult homeostasis. In addition, they also signal to cells via mechanotransduction pathways to control cell proliferation, differentiation and death. These processes require metabolism of nutrients for both energy generation and biosynthesis of macromolecules. However, how cellular mechanics and metabolism are connected is still poorly understood. Here, we discuss recent evidence indicating how the mechanical cues exerted by the extracellular matrix (ECM), cell-ECM and cell-cell adhesion complexes influence metabolic pathways. Moreover, we explore the energy and metabolic requirements associated with cell mechanics and ECM remodelling, implicating a reciprocal crosstalk between cell mechanics and metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*