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It is important to understand the effects of mechanical stimulation on cell behaviors for homeostasis. Many studies have been performed on cell responses to mechanical stimuli, but the mechanosensing mechanism is still under debate. In the present study, experiments employing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations concerning the effects of cyclic mechanical stimulus on cell proliferation were performed based on the hypothesis that mechanosensing depends on integrin types. We used a nanoporous gold (NPG) actuator to prevent transfer of a mechanical stimulus via molecules other than integrins. Surprisingly, a small cyclic strain of only 0.5% enhanced the proliferation of fibroblasts. α5β1 and αvβ3 integrins showed high sensitivity to the mechanical stimulus, whereas α1β1 and α2β1 integrins exhibited low mechanosensitivity. The MD simulations showed that different conformational changes of the integrin headpiece induced by binding to the ECM led to a difference in mechanosensitivity between αI and αI-less integrin types. Thus, the present study provides evidence to support the hypothesis and suggests the mechanism for the heterogeneous roles of integrins in mechanosensing. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Soichiro Deguchi, Atsushi Kato, Peizheng Wu, Masataka Hakamada, Mamoru Mabuchi. Heterogeneous role of integrins in fibroblast response to small cyclic mechanical stimulus generated by a nanoporous gold actuator. Acta biomaterialia. 2021 Feb;121:418-430

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PMID: 33326880

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