Mechanosomes carry a loaded message

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Scopus citations


Understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate the response of cells to mechanical stimuli, the process known as mechanotransduction, has emerged as a research topic with relevance to human health and disease. Mechanotransduction in bone is particularly relevant because the mammalian skeleton remodels to adapt to its loading environment The mechanosome hypothesis has been proposed to explain how mechanical signals detected at the bone cell membrane are converted into changes in transcription of target genes. In one model, adhesion complexes at the surface of the sensor cell activate multiprotein complexes (mechanosomes) that include both proteins involved in adhesion and transcription factors that move to the nucleus and regulate transcriptional activity of target genes. New work has identifi ed a previously unknown mechanotransduction complex-consisting of nitric oxide (NO), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), protein kinase G II, SHP-1, and SHP-2-that associates with ß3 integrins through Src. This complex regulates gene expression in response to fl uid fl ow and has several of the necessary elements of a mechanosome complex. These fi ndings beg the question of just how extensive the mechanosome network is and how mechanosomes interact with other signal transduction pathways that also respond to mechanical load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number153
StatePublished - Dec 21 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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