"Watching cellular mechanotransduction: Piezo1 in neural stem cell fate"
A major unanswered question in biology is how mechanical forces are generated, detected and transduced by cells to impact biochemical and genetic programs. Our work is aimed at uncovering the mechanical principles at play in cells and tissues using novel molecular, imaging and bioengineering tools. Here we present insights gleaned from non-invasive approaches to measure and manipulate mechanical cues in native cellular conditions. We find that the mechanically-activated ion channel Piezo1 transduces cell-generated traction forces to regulate lineage choice of neural stem cells. Our studies provide quantitative and mechanistic insights on the role of mechanical forces in cellular dynamics.