During cell migration, the forces generated in the actin cytoskeleton are transmitted across transmembrane receptors to the extracellular matrix or other cells through a series of mechanosensitive, regulable protein–protein interactions termed the molecular clutch. In integrin-based focal adhesions, the proteins forming this linkage are organized into a conserved three-dimensional nano-architecture. Here we discuss how the physical interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and focal-adhesion-associated molecules mediate force transmission from the molecular clutch to the extracellular matrix.
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The authors thank Michelle Baird and Michael Davidson (Florida State University) for assistance with figure design and members of the Waterman Lab for helpful discussions. Funding was provided by the Division of Intramural Research, NHLBI (L.B.C. and C.M.W.).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Case, L., Waterman, C. Integration of actin dynamics and cell adhesion by a three-dimensional, mechanosensitive molecular clutch. Nat Cell Biol 17, 955–963 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncb3191
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