skip to main content

Title: Key developments that impacted the field of mechanobiology and mechanotransduction: MECHANOBIOLOGY AND SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION
Advances in mechanobiology have evolved through insights from multiple disciplines including structural engineering, biomechanics, vascular biology, and orthopaedics. In this paper, we reviewed the impact of key reports related to the study of applied loads on tissues and cells and the resulting signal transduction pathways. We addressed how technology has helped advance the burgeoning field of mechanobiology (over 33,600 publications from 1970 to 2016). We analyzed the impact of critical ideas and then determined how these concepts influenced the mechanobiology field by looking at the citation frequency of these reports as well as tracking how the overall number of citations within the field changed over time. These data allowed us to understand how a key publication, idea, or technology guided or enabled the field. Initial observations of how forces acted on bone and soft tissues stimulated the development of computational solutions defining how forces affect tissue modeling and remodeling. Enabling technologies, such as cell and tissue stretching, compression, and shear stress devices, allowed more researchers to explore how deformation and fluid flow affect cells. Observation of the cell as a tensegrity structure and advanced methods to study genetic regulation in cells further advanced knowledge of specific mechanisms of mechanotransduction. The more » future of the field will involve developing gene and drug therapies to simulate or augment beneficial load regimens in patients and in mechanically conditioning organs for implantation. Here, we addressed a history of the field, but we limited our discussions to advances in musculoskeletal mechanobiology, primarily in bone, tendon, and ligament tissues. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1702841
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10067137
Journal Name:
Journal of Orthopaedic Research
ISSN:
0736-0266
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Endothelial mechanobiology is a key consideration in the progression of vascular dysfunction, including atherosclerosis. However mechanistic connections between the clinically associated physical stimuli, vessel stiffness and shear stress, and how they interact to modulate plaque progression remain incompletely characterized. Vessel-chip systems are excellent candidates for modeling vascular mechanobiology as they may be engineered from the ground up, guided by the mechanical parameters present in human arteries and veins, to recapitulate key features of the vasculature. Here, we report extensive validation of a vessel-chip model of endothelial yes-associated protein (YAP) mechanobiology, a protein sensitive to both matrix stiffness and shearing forces and, importantly, implicated in atherosclerotic progression. Our model captures the established endothelial mechanoresponse, with endothelial alignment, elongation, reduction of adhesion molecules, and YAP cytoplasmic retention under high laminar shear. Conversely, we observed disturbed morphology, inflammation, and nuclear partitioning under low, high, and high oscillatory shear. Examining targets of YAP transcriptional co-activation, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is strongly downregulated by high laminar shear, whereas it is strongly upregulated by low shear or oscillatory flow. Ankyrin repeat domain 1 (ANKRD1) is only upregulated by high oscillatory shear. Verteporfin inhibition of YAP reduced the expression of CTGF but did not affect ANKRD1.more »Lastly, substrate stiffness modulated the endothelial shear mechanoresponse. Under high shear, softer substrates showed the lowest nuclear localization of YAP whereas stiffer substrates increased nuclear localization. Low shear strongly increased nuclear localization of YAP across stiffnesses. Together, we have validated a model of endothelial mechanobiology and describe a clinically relevant biological connection between matrix stiffness, shear stress, and endothelial activation via YAP mechanobiology.« less
  2. Abstract The ability to sense and respond to physical forces is critical for the proper function of cells, tissues, and organisms across the evolutionary tree. Plants sense gravity, osmotic conditions, pathogen invasion, wind, and the presence of barriers in the soil, and dynamically integrate internal and external stimuli during every stage of growth and development. While the field of plant mechanobiology is growing, much is still poorly understood—including the interplay between mechanical and biochemical information at the single-cell level. In this review, we provide an overview of the mechanical properties of three main components of the plant cell and the mechanoperceptive pathways that link them, with an emphasis on areas of complexity and interaction. We discuss the concept of mechanical homeostasis, or “mechanostasis,” and examine the ways in which cellular structures and pathways serve to maintain it. We argue that viewing mechanics and mechanotransduction as emergent properties of the plant cell can be a useful conceptual framework for synthesizing current knowledge and driving future research.
  3. Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo fission and fusion. While they are essential for cellular metabolism, the effect of dysregulated mitochondrial dynamics on cellular metabolism is not fully understood. We previously found that transmembrane protein 135 ( Tmem135) plays a role in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics in mice. Mice homozygous for a Tmem135 mutation ( Tmem135 FUN025/FUN025 ) display accelerated aging and age-related disease pathologies in the retina including the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We also generated a transgenic mouse line globally overexpressing the Tmem135 gene ( Tmem135 TG). In several tissues and cells that we studied such as the retina, heart, and fibroblast cells, we observed that the Tmem135 mutation causes elongated mitochondria, while overexpression of Tmem135 results in fragmented mitochondria. To investigate how abnormal mitochondrial dynamics affect metabolic signatures of tissues and cells, we identified metabolic changes in primary RPE cell cultures as well as heart, cerebellum, and hippocampus isolated from Tmem135 FUN025/FUN025 mice (fusion > fission) and Tmem135 TG mice (fusion < fission) using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Metabolomics analysis revealed a tissue-dependent response to Tmem135 alterations, whereby significant metabolic changes were observed in the heart of both Tmem135 mutant and TG mice as compared to wild-type, while negligible effectsmore »were observed in the cerebellum and hippocampus. We also observed changes in Tmem135 FUN025/FUN025 and Tmem135 TG RPE cells associated with osmosis and glucose and phospholipid metabolism. We observed depletion of NAD + in both Tmem135 FUN025/FUN025 and Tmem135 TG RPE cells, indicating that imbalance in mitochondrial dynamics to both directions lowers the cellular NAD + level. Metabolic changes identified in this study might be associated with imbalanced mitochondrial dynamics in heart tissue and RPE cells which can likely lead to functional abnormalities. Impact statement Mitochondria are dynamic organelles undergoing fission and fusion. Proper regulation of this process is important for healthy aging process, as aberrant mitochondrial dynamics are associated with several age-related diseases/pathologies. However, it is not well understood how imbalanced mitochondrial dynamics may lead to those diseases and pathologies. Here, we aimed to determine metabolic alterations in tissues and cells from mouse models with over-fused (fusion > fission) and over-fragmented (fusion < fission) mitochondria that display age-related disease pathologies. Our results indicated tissue-dependent sensitivity to these mitochondrial changes, and metabolic pathways likely affected by aberrant mitochondrial dynamics. This study provides new insights into how dysregulated mitochondrial dynamics could lead to functional abnormalities of tissues and cells.« less
  4. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the significant roles of the interplay between microenvironmental mechanics in tissues and biochemical-genetic activities in resident tumor cells at different stages of tumor progression. Mediated by molecular mechano-sensors or -transducers, biomechanical cues in tissue microenvironments are transmitted into the tumor cells and regulate biochemical responses and gene expression through mechanotransduction processes. However, the molecular interplay between the mechanotransduction processes and intracellular biochemical signaling pathways remains elusive. This paper reviews the recent advances in understanding the crosstalk between biomechanical cues and three critical biochemical effectors during tumor progression: calcium ions (Ca 2+ ), yes-associated protein (YAP), and microRNAs (miRNAs). We address the molecular mechanisms underpinning the interplay between the mechanotransduction pathways and each of the three effectors. Furthermore, we discuss the functional interactions among the three effectors in the context of soft matter and mechanobiology. We conclude by proposing future directions on studying the tumor mechanobiology that can employ Ca 2+ , YAP, and miRNAs as novel strategies for cancer mechanotheraputics. This framework has the potential to bring insights into the development of novel next-generation cancer therapies to suppress and treat tumors.
  5. Bioengineers have built models of the tumour microenvironment (TME) in which to study cell–cell interactions, mechanisms of cancer growth and metastasis, and to test new therapies. These models allow researchers to culture cells in conditions that include features of the in vivo TME implicated in regulating cancer progression, such as extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness, integrin binding to the ECM, immune and stromal cells, growth factor and cytokine depots, and a three-dimensional geometry more representative of the in vivo TME than tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS). These biomaterials could be particularly useful for drug screening applications to make better predictions of efficacy, offering better translation to preclinical models and clinical trials. However, it can be challenging to compare drug response reports across different biomaterial platforms in the current literature. This is, in part, a result of inconsistent reporting and improper use of drug response metrics, and vast differences in cell growth rates across a large variety of biomaterial designs. This study attempts to clarify the definitions of drug response measurements used in the field, and presents examples in which these measurements can and cannot be applied. We suggest as best practice to measure the growth rate of cells in the absence ofmore »drug, and follow our ‘decision tree’ when reporting drug response metrics. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Forces in cancer: interdisciplinary approaches in tumour mechanobiology’.« less