Anchorage-independent growth is the most significant hallmark of cell transformation, which has an intimate relevance to cancer. Anchorage or adhesion physically links cells to the extracellular matrix and allows the transmission of external mechanical cues to intracellular signaling machineries. Transformation involves acquiring the ability to proliferate without requiring mechanically initiated signal transduction, known as mechanotransduction. A number of signaling and cytoskeletal molecules are located at focal adhesions. Src and its related proteins, including p130Cas, localize to adhesion sites, where their functions can be mechanically regulated. In addition, the aberrant activation and expression of Src and p130Cas are linked to transformation and malignancy both in vitro and in vivo. These findings shed light on the importance of mechanotransduction in tumorigenesis and the regulation of cancer progression and also provide insights into the mechanical aspects of cancer signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas