Effect of mechanical forces on cellular response to radiation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While the cellular interactions and biochemical signaling has been investigated for long and showed to play a major role in the cell's fate, it is now also evident that mechanical forces continuously applied to the cells in their microenvironment are as important for tissue homeostasis. Mechanical cues are emerging as key regulators of cellular drug response and we aimed to demonstrate in this review that such effects should also be considered vital for the cellular response to radiation. In order to explore the mechanobiology of the radiation response, we reviewed the main mechanoreceptors and transducers, including integrin-mediated adhesion, YAP/TAZ pathways, Wnt/β-catenin signaling, ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors and showed their implication in the modulation of cellular radiosensitivity. We then discussed the current studies that investigated a direct effect of mechanical stress, including extracellular matrix stiffness, shear stress and mechanical strain, on radiation response of cancer and normal cells and showed through preliminary results that such stress effectively can alter cell response after irradiation. However, we also highlighted the limitations of these studies and emphasized some of the contradictory data, demonstrating that the effect of mechanical cues could involve complex interactions and potential crosstalk with numerous cellular processes also affected by irradiation. Overall, mechanical forces alter radiation response and although additional studies are required to deeply understand the underlying mechanisms, these effects should not be neglected in radiation research as they could reveal new fundamental knowledge for predicting radiosensitivity or understanding resistance to radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Mechanical forces
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Radiation
  • Shear stress
  • Stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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