Volume 18 Issue 12, December 2017

Volume 18 Issue 12

'Cell machines' by Vicky Summersby, inspired by this focus issue.


Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    Mechanical cues from the microenvironment can be efficiently transmitted to the nucleus to engage in the regulation of genome organization and gene expression. Recent technological and theoretical progress sheds new light on the relationships between cell mechanics, nuclear and chromosomal architecture and gene transcription.

    • Caroline Uhler
    •  & G. V. Shivashankar
  • Review Article |

    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
  • Review Article |

    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 Article |

    The transcription factors YAP and TAZ have recently emerged as being conserved transducers of mechanical signals into cells and mediators of processes such as proliferation, migration and cell fate decision. The roles of YAP-mediated and TAZ-mediated mechanotransduction have now been documented in many physiological and pathological contexts, providing novel insights into cellular mechano-responses and their consequences.

    • Tito Panciera
    • , Luca Azzolin
    • , Michelangelo Cordenonsi
    •  & Stefano Piccolo
  • Review Article |

    Soon after their discovery in 2010, Piezo channels became a paradigm for studying mechanosensitive ion channels. These channels respond to physiologically relevant forces in diverse cellular contexts, and their dysfunction has been linked to various diseases. We are now starting to understand gating mechanisms of Piezo channels and their key roles in physiology.

    • Swetha E. Murthy
    • , Adrienne E. Dubin
    •  & Ardem Patapoutian