Mechanical Stress Dictates Protein Dynamics

Chemical signal transduction cascades are often thought to be the principle drivers of protein localization.  However, we have found that mechanical stress is just as important and in many cases over-rides chemical cues.  Many cytoskeletal proteins, including myosin II, cortexillin I, IQGAP scaffolding proteins, and several others, lock in in the cytoskeletal network.  By having mechanosensation trumping other inputs, the cell has the intrinsic ability to build its cytoskeletal networks exactly where they are needed and then allow them to disassemble when their job is complete - i.e. the ultimate smart material.  Please see Srivastava and Robinson, Curr. Biol. 2015 for more information.