I was attending a talk related to neurogenesis. So one professor was asking a question related to biochemical cues and mechanical cues (related to signaling pathways I believe). Cue as far as I understand is a signal, right? Biochemical cue is understandable for me.

But what does mechanical cue mean?


Mechanical pressure, stress, strain or distortion are mechanical cues. In general, cues sensed by mechanoreceptors are mechanical cues!

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    $\begingroup$ It is not necessary that mechanical cues are sensed by mechanoreceptors. These cues can also be relayed via the cytoskeleton and the adhesion proteins. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Sep 15 '15 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt adhesion proteins can transduce mechanical signal. They can only recognize specific molecule or protein on opposite cell (or ECM). They are sending chemical signals not mechanical. $\endgroup$ – Dexter Sep 15 '15 at 4:47
  • $\begingroup$ Adhesion proteins relay the mechanical stress as they are directly connected to the cytoskeleton. They are not really like signalling receptors. See this abstract: "Experimental evidence confirms that cell differentiation or proliferation can be regulated according to the extracellular matrix stiffness...". So adhesion proteins are involved in relaying these signals. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Sep 15 '15 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ In given paper, there is no clear indication of any adhesion protein. Given study is mathematical model with correlations. However I found this line in that paper's conclusion, "α5β1-integrin could switch between relaxed and tensioned states in response to traction forces generated by a cell.". This gave me this reference. Which suggest that 'a5b1' is 'most likely' candidate who changes confirmation by mechanical stress. In that case 'a5b1' will be mechanoreceptor by definition :P $\endgroup$ – Dexter Sep 15 '15 at 5:11
  • $\begingroup$ Well they are not classified as mechanoreceptors, if you are getting what I am trying to say. I am not refuting what you are saying, but you cannot call integrins as mechanoreceptors. This is just like the equilibrium- steady state argument. It is a matter of classification and not an all pervasive superlogic :P $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Sep 15 '15 at 5:15

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