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Science 327 (5971): 1335-1336

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science


Enforcing Order on Signaling

Matthew Paszek1, and Valerie Weaver1,2,3,4

Mechanical forces provide important regulatory information that directs development. Even throughout adulthood, tissue homeostasis remains tightly linked to tensional homeostasis, the perturbation of which often leads to chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and cancer (1, 2). Environmental cues affect cell behavior by triggering signal transduction networks, but how cells actually integrate mechanical cues with these biochemical networks remains largely unresolved. On page 1380 in this issue, Salaita et al. describe how mechanical force, spatial organization of large clusters of cell surface receptors, and receptor-mediated signal transduction are coupled (3). Disruption of this mechanical-coupling mechanism in tumor cells may explain the invasive characteristics of aggressive, metastatic cancers.

1 Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
2 Department of Anatomy, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
3 Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, and Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
4 Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

E-mail: valerie.weaver{at}

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