Menu

Infographic: Following the Force

Physical forces propagate from the outside of cells inward and vice versa.

Jan 31, 2017
Ning Wang

Physical forces generated outside a cell can be transmitted to the cytoskeleton via cell-surface receptors known as integrins and associated protein complexes called focal adhesions. Once believed to act over only short distances, such forces are now recognized to propagate tens of microns across cells via cytoskeletal filaments such as actin stress fibers and microtubules.

Such forces can even travel all the way to the nucleus, where they may influence gene expression. On the outside of the organelle, the nuclear envelope is tethered to the actin cytoskeleton via the LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complex. Just inside the envelope, the nuclear lamina comprises a layer of intermediate filament proteins called lamins that are critical for force-induced changes in gene expression. Forces can also affect the translocation of certain molecules through the nuclear pore complex.

© THOM GRAVES

FORCE DISTANCE: Physical forces can propagate tens of micrometers across living cells, reaching all the way from outside the membrane to the nucleus and activating signaling molecules such as Src at distances of more than 60 μm from the site of the local force application.

FORCE MAGNITUDE: A single myosin molecule generates ~10 pN force, but when they aggregate together along many actin filaments, myosins can generate ~10 nN force at a single focal adhesion—a 1,000-fold increase.

FORCE DIRECTION: In addition to propagating into cells, physical forces can also move from the inside out. Focal adhesions and integrins help transmit forces generated by molecular motors and other cellular components into the extracellular matrix.

Read the full story.

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

pIC50: The Advantages of Thinking Logarithmically
pIC50: The Advantages of Thinking Logarithmically
Watch this webinar from Collaborative Drug Discovery to learn about how using pIC50 helps you get a better sense of the relative potencies, calculate the correct mean of multiple values, and select better sampling doses.
WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
INTEGRA Biosciences is offering labs the chance to win a VIAFLO 96/384 pipette. Designed to simplify plate replication, plate reformatting or reservoir-to-plate transfers, the VIAFLO 96/384 allows labs without the space or budget for an expensive pipetting robot to increase the speed and throughput of routine tasks.
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!