Single cell rigidity sensing: a complex relationship between focal adhesion dynamics and large-scale actin cytoskeleton remodeling
Gupta M, Doss B, Lim CT, Voituriez R, Ladoux B.
Cell Adh Migr.
2016 Apr 6
Many physiological and pathological processes involve tissue cells sensing the rigidity of their environment. In general, tissue cells have been shown to react to the stiffness of their environment by regulating their level of contractility, and in turn applying traction forces on their environment to probe it. This mechanosensitive process can direct early cell adhesion, cell migration and even cell differentiation. These processes require the integration of signals over time and multiple length scales. Multiple strategies have been developed to understand force- and rigidity-sensing mechanisms and much effort has been concentrated on the study of cell adhesion complexes, such as focal adhesions, and cell cytoskeletons. Here, we review the major biophysical methods used for measuring cell-traction forces as well as the mechanosensitive processes that drive cellular responses to matrix rigidity on 2-dimensional substrates.