Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29388220
Biol. Cell 2018 Mar;110(3):49-64
Cells sense and respond to the biochemical and physical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) through adhesive structures that bridge the cell cytoskeleton and the surrounding environment. Integrin-mediated adhesions interact with specific ECM proteins and sense the rigidity of the substrate to trigger signalling pathways that, in turn, regulate cellular processes such as adhesion, motility, proliferation and differentiation. This process, called mechanotransduction, influenced by the involvement of different integrin subtypes and their high ECM-ligand binding specificity, contributes to the cell-type-specific mechanical responses. In this review, we describe how the expression of particular integrin subtypes affects cellular adaptation to substrate rigidity. We then explain the role of integrins and associated proteins in mechanotransduction, focusing on their specificity in mechanosensing and force transmission.