Force via integrins but not E-cadherin decreases Oct3/4 expression in embryonic stem cells

Yuhei Uda, Yeh Chuin Poh, Farhan Chowdhury, Douglas C. Wu, Tetsuya S. Tanaka, Masaaki Sato, Ning Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence suggests that mechanical factors play a critical role in fate decisions of stem cells. Recently we have demonstrated that a local force applied via Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides coated magnetic beads to mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells increases cell spreading and cell stiffness and decreases Oct3/4 (Pou5f1) gene expression. However, it is not clear whether the effects of the applied stress on these functions of ES cells can be extended to natural extracellular matrix proteins or cell-cell adhesion molecules. Here we show that a local cyclic shear force applied via fibronectin or laminin to integrin receptors increased cell spreading and stiffness, downregulated Oct3/4 gene expression, and decreased cell proliferation rate. In contrast, the same cyclic force applied via cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin (Cdh1) had no effects on cell spreading, Oct3/4 gene expression, and the self-renewal of mouse ES cells, but induced significant cell stiffening. Our findings demonstrate that biological responses of ES cells to force applied via integrins are different from those to force via E-cadherin, suggesting that mechanical forces might play different roles in different force transduction pathways to shape early embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-400
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 18 2011


  • Cell stiffness
  • Deformation
  • Differentiation
  • Mechanical stress
  • Mechanotransduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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