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The mechanobiology of the nucleus


Abstract


In addition to biochemical and molecular signals coming from the microenvironment, cells are able to sense and integrate mechanical stresses, additional fundamental regulators of cell behaviour. Emerging demonstrations indicate that mechanical cues go far beyond the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton, since, exerting tension on the outside local microenvironment via adhesions, cells develop an equal cytoskeletal stress on the nucleus inside, leading to 3D nuclear modifications. In this context, dynamic changes in nuclear lamina and the surrounding cytoskeleton modify mechanical properties of the nucleus affecting its structural arrangement, chromatin anchoring, 3D chromosome conformation and gene expression. Here we discuss findings supporting the role of the nucleus in cellular mechanosensing, ranging from how mechanical cues are transduced to the nucleus to how genome organization is influenced by cell mechanics.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i25327518v4i2p7

Keywords: nucleus; mechanosensing; mechanotransduction; nuclear lamina; nucleoskeleton

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