Molecular Mechanisms of Mechanosensing and Mechanotransduction

  • Masatsugu Toyota
  • Takuya Furuichi
  • Hidetoshi IidaEmail author


Mechanical stimuli, such as touch, bending, gravity, and wounding, influence plant growth and development through the activation of intracellular signaling pathways and gene expression. Therefore, mechanosensing and mechanotransduction are of vital importance and have been attracting the attention of many plant scientists for nearly 150 years. Based on recent molecular and cellular approaches, candidates for mechanosensors have been discovered. These include mechanosensitive (MS) channels, such as MscS-like (MSL) proteins, mid1-complementing activities (MCAs), and reduced hyperosmolality-induced [Ca2+]i increase 1 (OSCA1), which generate intracellular ionic signals and receptor-like kinases that trigger the activation of regulatory proteins or enzymes, including Ca2+-binding proteins, protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and transcription factors. Other possible groups of mechanosensors are intracellular filamentous structures in the cytoskeleton, such as microtubules and actin filaments, which may directly act as sensors for the deformation of intracellular structures. In this chapter, we discuss the mechanisms by which plants sense and respond to mechanical stimuli by focusing on mechanosensors along with their downstream signaling molecules, such as auxin and reactive oxygen species (ROS).


Mechanosensitive channels Organelles Cytoskeleton Intracellular signals Long-distance signals 

List of Abbreviations


Calcineurin B-like proteins


Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release


CBL-interacting protein kinases


Filamentous temperature-sensitive Z


Glutamate receptor-like channels


Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate


mid1-complementing activity 1


mid1-complementing activities




Mechanosensitive channel of large conductance


Mechanosensitive channel of small conductance




Reduced hyperosmolality-induced [Ca2+]i increase 1


Rapid alkalinization factor


Reactive oxygen species






Two-pore channel 1


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masatsugu Toyota
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Takuya Furuichi
    • 4
  • Hidetoshi Iida
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologySaitama UniversitySaitama City, SaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO)SaitamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Human Life ScienceNagoya University of EconomicsInuyama City, AichiJapan
  5. 5.Department of BiologyTokyo Gakugei UniversityTokyoJapan

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