Vicky Summersby

Focus on mechanobiology

This issue focuses on our understanding of the functions of mechanical forces in cells and tissues and of how forces are translated into changes in gene expression and cell behaviour. *free content*

Latest Reviews

  • Review |

    Cells activate a transcriptional response known as the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) when mitochondrial integrity and function are impaired to promote their recovery. Recent insights into the regulation, mechanisms and functions of the UPRmt have uncovered important links to ageing and ageing-associated diseases.

    • Tomer Shpilka
    •  & Cole M. Haynes
  • Review |

    Structures in 5′ untranslated regions of eukaryotic mRNAs contribute to gene regulation by controlling cap-dependent and cap-independent translation initiation through diverse mechanisms. New structure probing technologies coupled with techniques such as compensatory mutagenesis will likely identify new structured RNA elements and help elucidate their function.

    • Kathrin Leppek
    • , Rhiju Das
    •  & Maria Barna
  • Review |

    Sphingolipids are a major class of lipids, comprising various species with diverse functions. In addition to being structural elements of membranes, many sphingolipids are bioactive and regulate a myriad of cellular processes. Recent advances have shed new light on the complexity of sphingolipid metabolism and their various roles in physiology and disease.

    • Yusuf A. Hannun
    •  & Lina M. Obeid
  • Review |

    Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) do not overlap protein-coding genes, although some lincRNA genes have minimal coding potential and can include small open reading frames that encode functional peptides. lincRNA functions include RNA stabilization and transcription regulation and the remodelling of chromatin and genome architecture. Recent insights suggest that lincRNAs broadly serve to fine-tune the expression of neighbouring genes with remarkable tissue specificity.

    • Julia D. Ransohoff
    • , Yuning Wei
    •  & Paul A. Khavari
  • Review |

    Coordinated movements of cell collectives are important for morphogenesis, tissue regeneration and cancer cell dissemination. Recent studies, mainly using novel in vitro approaches, have provided new insights into the mechanisms governing this multicellular coordination, highlighting the key role of the mechanosensitivity of adherens junctions and mechanical cell–cell coupling in collective cell behaviours.

    • Benoit Ladoux
    •  & René-Marc Mège
  • Review |

    Physical cues regulate stem cell fate and function during embryonic development and in adult tissues. The biophysical and biochemical properties of the stem cell microenvironment can be precisely manipulated using synthetic niches, which provide key insights into how mechanical stimuli regulate stem cell function and can be used to maintain and guide stem cells for regenerative therapies.

    • Kyle H. Vining
    •  & David J. Mooney

News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    Ribosome subunits that fail to properly mature enter translation, cause translational stress and become targets of translation surveillance pathways.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Journal Club |

    Christopher Chen highlights the early studies of mechanoregulation of cell–matrix adhesions that established mechanobiology as a cross-discplinary research field

    • Christopher S. Chen
  • Research Highlight |

    Applying force to the nucleus reduces the diffusion barrier at nuclear pores and promotes nuclear import of certain proteins, including the transcription regulator YAP, depending on their molecular properties.

    • Paulina Strzyz

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