Mechanostasis in apoptosis and medicine
Mechanostasis describes a complex and dynamic process where cells maintain equilibrium in response to mechanical forces. Normal physiological loading modes and magnitudes contribute to cell proliferation, tissue growth, differentiation and development. However, cell responses to abnormal forces include compensatory apoptotic mechanisms that may contribute to the development of tissue disease and pathological conditions. Mechanotransduction mechanisms tightly regulate the cell response through discrete signaling pathways. Here, we provide an overview of links between pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling and mechanotransduction signaling pathways, and identify potential clinical applications for treatments of disease by exploiting mechanically-linked apoptotic pathways.