IBEC investigators show that physical forces activate genes involved in cancer

In their effort to shed light on the role that physical forces play in the body, Pere Roca-Cusachs’ group at IBEC has shown how these forces ‘switch on’ the expression of genes that may result in cancer.  

Cells apply mechanical forces to their surrounding tissue, and this mechanical effect is crucial for tissue function. In diseases such as cancer or liver and lung fibrosis, tissue rigidity and mechanical forces increase, promoting the progression of the disease. In their study published in Cell yesterday, IBEC’s researchers reveal how forces trigger the expression of certain genes by increasing the activity of a protein called YAP in the nucleus of the cell.

Read more on the IBEC website