Editors' ChoiceMechanotransduction

Stretching cell sheets promotes proliferation

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Sci. Signal.  02 Jun 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 379, pp. ec148
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac6715

Mechanical strain regulates the development, organization, and function of multicellular tissues. But how? Cadherins mechanically couple neighboring epithelial cells through extracellular interactions and sequester the transcription factors β-catenin and Yap1. To find out more, Benham-Pyle et al. stretched epithelial cell sheets. This mechanical strain induced rapid cell cycle reentry, DNA synthesis by sequential nuclear accumulation, and transcriptional activation of Yap1 and β-catenin. Thus, cell-cell junctions are mechanically responsive structural scaffolds providing signaling centers that coordinate transcriptional responses to externally applied force.

B. W. Benham-Pyle, B. L. Pruitt, W. J. Nelson, Mechanical strain induces E-cadherin–dependent Yap1 and β-catenin activation to drive cell cycle entry. Science 348, 1024–1027 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]