Chemical and mechanical stimuli act on common signal transduction and cytoskeletal networks

Yulia Artemenko, Lucas Axiotakis, Jane Borleis, Pablo A. Iglesias, Peter N. Devreotes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Signal transduction pathways activated by chemoattractants have been extensively studied, but little is known about the events mediating responses to mechanical stimuli. We discovered that acute mechanical perturbation of cells triggered transient activation of all tested components of the chemotactic signal transduction network, as well as actin polymerization. Similarly to chemoattractants, the shear flow-induced signal transduction events displayed features of excitability, including the ability to mount a full response irrespective of the length of the stimulation and a refractory period that is shared with that generated by chemoattractants. Loss of G protein subunits, inhibition of multiple signal transduction events, or disruption of calcium signaling attenuated the response to acute mechanical stimulation. Unlike the response to chemoattractants, an intact actin cytoskeleton was essential for reacting to mechanical perturbation. These results taken together suggest that chemotactic and mechanical stimuli trigger activation of a common signal transduction network that integrates external cues to regulate cytoskeletal activity and drive cell migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E7500-E7509
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 22 2016


  • Biochemical excitability
  • Biomechanics
  • Inflammation
  • Motility
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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