Cancer under pressure: which signals are activated?

mechanical forces,





 targeted therapies,

 cell signaling.

In living organisms, cells perceive mechanical forces (shear, traction and compression) and respond to these physical forces through a process called “mechanotransduction”. This process involves the simultaneous activation of chemical signals in the cells. Recent studies, mainly on human cells, have revealed that the chemical signals induced by these compressive forces control the behaviour of compressed cells and their less-compressed neighbours. As well as participating in tissue homeostasis (maintaining the function of a tissue), for example in bone repair, compression is also implicated in diseases such as intervertebral disc degeneration and solid cancers. In this review, we summarise what is currently known about the chemical signalling pathways induced by compression and their consequences, particularly in the development and progression of cancer.

This literature review is important for our team, whose current research projects aim to identify ways of countering the deleterious effects of compression in pancreatic cancer.

Discover the published article

Life Sci Alliance. 2023 Jun 26;6(9):e202201862. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202201862. Print 2023 Sep.
Transducing compressive forces into cellular outputs in cancer and beyond.
Schmitter C, Di-Luoffo M, Guillermet-Guibert J.

Collaborations and acknowledgements

Our work is funded by Labex Toucan (ANR), the Toulouse Cancer Santé Foundation (Mecharesist), Inserm’s Cancer Plan (PressDiagTherapy followed by MechaEvo), INCA-PLBIO 2021, the ARC Foundation (ARCPJA2021060003932, ARCPGA2022120005630_6362-3). JGG obtained a prize from the Fonroga Foundation for Céline Schmitter to carry out a master’s degree on this project.

Centre de Recherches en Cancérologie de Toulouse

Centre de Recherches contre le Cancer de Toulouse (Oncopole)

Toulouse - FR

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