Current issue



Forces in cell biology p579


Mechanobiology — the study of how physical forces control the behaviour of cells and tissues — is a rapidly growing field. In this issue, we launch a Series of specially commissioned Review articles that discuss exciting recent developments in this area.

Championing authorship attribution p579


Nature Cell Biology is among the Springer Nature journals taking part in a recently launched trial that mandates the provision of ORCID identifiers for the corresponding authors of our papers.



Multiscale force sensing in development pp581 - 588

Nicoletta I. Petridou, Zoltán Spiró & Carl-Philipp Heisenberg


In this Review, we will discuss how the interplay and feedback between mechanical and biochemical signals control tissue morphogenesis and cell fate specification in embryonic development.


News and Views

Mitochondria link metabolism and epigenetics in haematopoiesis pp589 - 591

John C. Schell & Jared Rutter


Due to their varied metabolic and signalling roles, mitochondria are important in mediating cell behaviour. By altering mitochondrial function, two studies now identify metabolite-induced epigenetic changes that have profound effects on haematopoietic stem cell fate and function.

See also: Article by Liu et al. | Article by Ansó et al.

Cell forces meet cell metabolism pp591 - 593

Tadamoto Isogai, Jin Suk Park & Gaudenz Danuser


Epithelial cells form energetically costly cell–cell adhesions in response to mechanical forces. How cells obtain their energy during this event is unclear. Activity of a key regulator of cell metabolism, the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), is now shown to be mechanoresponsive, and thus can bridge adhesion mechanotransduction and energy homeostasis.

See also: Letter by Bays et al.

Endoglin moves and shapes endothelial cells pp593 - 595

Victoria L. Bautch


Vascular malformations result from improper blood vessel responses to molecular and mechanical signals. Two studies now show that endothelial cell migration and cell shape changes are perturbed in mutants lacking the TGFβ/BMP co-receptor endoglin, leading to arteriovenous shunts. Endoglin coordinates endothelial cell responses to ligand–receptor signalling and flow-mediated mechanical cues.

See also: Article by Sugden et al. | Article by Jin et al.

Reversing stratification during wound healing pp595 - 597

Denis Headon


The involvement of proliferation and migration in epidermal healing has long been recognized, but three studies now reveal how a variety of individual cell behaviours achieve a collective epithelial response, and how diverse repair routes are taken by cells of different origins.

See also: Article by Donati et al. | Article by Park et al. | Article by Aragona et al.

Reducing interferon'ce in stem cells pp597 - 599

Alycia Gardner & Brian Ruffell


Little is known regarding how the interactions of stem cells with the immune system regulate their plasticity. A study now describes a mechanism by which normal breast and cancer stem cells utilize miR-199a to downregulate the corepressor LCOR and minimize responses to type I interferon.

See also: Article by Celià-Terrassa et al.



Wounding induces dedifferentiation of epidermal Gata6+ cells and acquisition of stem cell properties pp603 - 613

Giacomo Donati, Emanuel Rognoni, Toru Hiratsuka, Kifayathullah Liakath-Ali, Esther Hoste, Gozde Kar, Melis Kayikci, Roslin Russell, Kai Kretzschmar, Klaas W. Mulder, Sarah A. Teichmann & Fiona M. Watt


Donati et al. show that following skin wounding a differentiated Gata6+ cell population resident in the sebaceous duct migrates to the interfollicular epidermis and reattaches to the basal membrane, dedifferentiating into stem cells.

See also: News and Views by Headon

The mitochondrial respiratory chain is essential for haematopoietic stem cell function pp614 - 625

Elena Ansó, Samuel E. Weinberg, Lauren P. Diebold, Benjamin J. Thompson, Sébastien Malinge, Paul T. Schumacker, Xin Liu, Yuannyu Zhang, Zhen Shao, Mya Steadman, Kelly M. Marsh, Jian Xu, John D. Crispino & Navdeep S. Chandel


Two papers by Liu et al. and Ansó et al. study the post-transcriptional regulation of mitochondrial factors in erythropoiesis and the role of RISP-mediated mitochondrial respiration in fetal and adult HSC function via metabolites and epigenetic changes.

See also: Article by Liu et al. | News and Views by Schell & Rutter

Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in erythropoiesis by mTORC1-mediated protein translation pp626 - 638

Xin Liu, Yuannyu Zhang, Min Ni, Hui Cao, Robert A. J. Signer, Dan Li, Mushan Li, Zhimin Gu, Zeping Hu, Kathryn E. Dickerson, Samuel E. Weinberg, Navdeep S. Chandel, Ralph J. DeBerardinis, Feng Zhou, Zhen Shao & Jian Xu


Two papers by Liu et al. and Ansó et al. study the post-transcriptional regulation of mitochondrial factors in erythropoiesis and the role of RISP-mediated mitochondrial respiration in fetal and adult HSC function via metabolites and epigenetic changes.

See also: Article by Ansó et al. | News and Views by Schell & Rutter

Endoglin prevents vascular malformation by regulating flow-induced cell migration and specification through VEGFR2 signalling pp639 - 652

Yi Jin, Lars Muhl, Mikhail Burmakin, Yixin Wang, Anne-Claire Duchez, Christer Betsholtz, Helen M. Arthur & Lars Jakobsson


Two studies by Sugden et al. and Jin et al. show that endoglin regulates endothelial cell migration through VEGFR2 signalling and controls blood vessel diameter in response to blood flow.

See also: Article by Sugden et al. | News and Views by Bautch

Endoglin controls blood vessel diameter through endothelial cell shape changes in response to haemodynamic cues pp653 - 665

Wade W. Sugden, Robert Meissner, Tinri Aegerter-Wilmsen, Roman Tsaryk, Elvin V. Leonard, Jeroen Bussmann, Mailin J. Hamm, Wiebke Herzog, Yi Jin, Lars Jakobsson, Cornelia Denz & Arndt F. Siekmann


Two studies by Sugden et al. and Jin et al. show that endoglin regulates endothelial cell migration through VEGFR2 signalling and controls blood vessel diameter in response to blood flow.

See also: Article by Jin et al. | News and Views by Bautch

Stem cell plasticity enables hair regeneration following Lgr5+ cell loss pp666 - 676

Joerg D. Hoeck, Brian Biehs, Antonina V. Kurtova, Noelyn M. Kljavin, Felipe de Sousa e Melo, Bruno Alicke, Hartmut Koeppen, Zora Modrusan, Robert Piskol & Frederic J. de Sauvage


Hoeck et al. show that disruption of the hair follicle stem cell compartment by loss of Lgr5+ stem cells is followed by an inflammatory response and CD34+ stem cell activation and proliferation, to eventually replenish the Lgr5+ population.

Leptin-receptor-expressing bone marrow stromal cells are myofibroblasts in primary myelofibrosis pp677 - 688

Matthew Decker, Leticia Martinez-Morentin, Guannan Wang, Yeojin Lee, Qingxue Liu, Juliana Leslie & Lei Ding


Decker et al. show that leptin-receptor-positive mesenchymal stromal cells are the source of the fibrogenic myofibroblasts that expand in primary myelofibrosis in a process mediated by PDGFRA pathway activation.

Actin cortex architecture regulates cell surface tension pp689 - 697

Priyamvada Chugh, Andrew G. Clark, Matthew B. Smith, Davide A. D. Cassani, Kai Dierkes, Anan Ragab, Philippe P. Roux, Guillaume Charras, Guillaume Salbreux & Ewa K. Paluch


Cortical tension is thought to be generated by myosin II, and little is known about the role of actin network properties. Chugh et al. demonstrate that actin cortex thickness, determined by actin filament length, influences cortical tension.

Regulated IRE1-dependent mRNA decay sets the threshold for dendritic cell survival pp698 - 710

Simon J. Tavernier, Fabiola Osorio, Lana Vandersarren, Jessica Vetters, Nele Vanlangenakker, Gert Van Isterdael, Karl Vergote, Riet De Rycke, Eef Parthoens, Lianne van de Laar, Takao Iwawaki, Juan R. Del Valle, Chih-Chi Andrew Hu, Bart N. Lambrecht & Sophie Janssens


Tavernier et al. show that loss of the protective IRE1–XBP1 stress sensor results in the death of conventional dendritic cells in the lung, whereas those in the intestine survive due to a stronger ATF4-dependent stress response and RIDD activation.

Normal and cancerous mammary stem cells evade interferon-induced constraint through the miR-199a–LCOR axis pp711 - 723

Toni Celià-Terrassa, Daniel D. Liu, Abrar Choudhury, Xiang Hang, Yong Wei, Jose Zamalloa, Raymundo Alfaro-Aco, Rumela Chakrabarti, Yi-Zhou Jiang, Bong Ihn Koh, Heath A. Smith, Christina DeCoste, Jun-Jing Li, Zhi-Ming Shao & Yibin Kang


Celià-Terrassa et al. find that by repressing LCOR, a modulator of the interferon response, miR-199a allows both normal and cancer mammary stem cells to evade senescence and differentiation, thus promoting tumorigenesis.

See also: News and Views by Gardner & Ruffell



Linking E-cadherin mechanotransduction to cell metabolism through force-mediated activation of AMPK pp724 - 731

Jennifer L. Bays, Hannah K. Campbell, Christy Heidema, Michael Sebbagh & Kris A. DeMali


Bays et al. demonstrate that application of force to E-cadherin leads to LKB1-dependent activation of AMPK and recruitment of AMPK to E-cadherin complexes to increase glucose uptake and ATP production and re-enforce cell–cell junctions.

See also: News and Views by Isogai et al.

Receptor oligomerization guides pathway choice between proteasomal and autophagic degradation pp732 - 739

Kefeng Lu, Fabian den Brave & Stefan Jentsch


Lu et al. show that the choice between proteasomal degradation and selective autophagy is independent of the ubiquitin-binding properties of the receptors but largely determined by oligomerization potential.



Erratum: SWELL1 is a regulator of adipocyte size, insulin signalling and glucose homeostasis p740

Yanhui Zhang, Litao Xie, Susheel K. Gunasekar, Dan Tong, Anil Mishra, William J. Gibson, Chuansong Wang, Trevor Fidler, Brodie Marthaler, Aloysius Klingelhutz, E. Dale Abel, Isaac Samuel, Jessica K. Smith, Lei Cao & Rajan Sah




Corrigendum: The tetrameric kinesin Kif25 suppresses pre-mitotic centrosome separation to establish proper spindle orientation p740

Justin Decarreau, Michael Wagenbach, Eric Lynch, Aaron R. Halpern, Joshua C. Vaughan, Justin Kollman & Linda Wordeman