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Embryonic gene regulation through mechanical forces


During embryonic development genetic cascades control gene activity and cell differentiation.

In a new publication of the journal PNAS, the team of Ulrich Technau of the Department of Molecular Evolution and Development at the University of Vienna reported that besides the genetic program, also mechanical cues can contribute to the regulation of gene expression during development. Comparisons with other animals suggests that this regulatory principle is ancient.

b-catenin dependent mechanotransduction dates back to the common ancestor of Cnidaria and Bilateria Ekaterina Pukhlyakova, Andrew J. Aman, Kareem Elsayad, and Ulrich Technau PNAS May 21, 2018. 201713682; published ahead of print May 21, 2018. 

(c) Ulrich Technau