The Minc Team has just published a new review in Journal of Cell Science :
The cell wall (CW) is a thin and rigid layer encasing the membrane of all plant and fungal cells. It ensures mechanical integrity by bearing mechanical stresses derived from large cytoplasmic turgor pressure, contacts with growing neighbors or growth within restricted spaces. The CW is made of polysaccharides and proteins, but is dynamic in nature, changing composition and geometry during growth, reproduction or infection. Such continuous and often rapid remodeling entails risks of enhanced stress and consequent damages or fractures, raising the question of how the CW detects and measures surface mechanical stress and how it strengthens to ensure surface integrity? Although early studies in model fungal and plant cells have identified homeostatic pathways required for CW integrity, recent methodologies are now allowing the measurement of pressure and local mechanical properties of CWs in live cells, as well as addressing how forces and stresses can be detected at the CW surface, fostering the emergence of the field of CW mechanobiology. Here, using tip-growing cells of plants and fungi as case study models, we review recent progress on CW mechanosensation and mechanical regulation, and their implications for the control of cell growth, morphogenesis and survival.
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