The interplay of signaling pathway in endothelial cells—matrix stiffness dependency with targeted-therapeutic drugs

Vicki Vania, Lu Wang, Marco Tjakra, Tao Zhang, Juhui Qiu, Youhua Tan, Guixue Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been one of the major causes of human deaths in the world. The study of CVDs has focused on cell chemotaxis for decades. With the advances in mechanobiology, accumulating evidence has demonstrated the influence of mechanical stimuli on arterial pathophysiology and endothelial dysfunction that is a hallmark of atherosclerosis development. An increasing number of drugs have been exploited to decrease the stiffness of vascular tissue for CVDs therapy. However, the underlying mechanisms have yet to be explored. This review aims to summarize how matrix stiffness mediates atherogenesis through various important signaling pathways in endothelial cells and cellular mechanophenotype, including RhoA/Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and Hippo pathways. We also highlight the roles of putative mechanosensitive non-coding RNAs in matrix stiffness-mediated atherogenesis. Finally, we describe the usage of tunable hydrogel and its future strategy to improve our knowledge underlying matrix stiffness-mediated CVDs mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165645
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Endothelial cell
  • Hippo pathway
  • MAPK
  • Matrix stiffness
  • RhoA/ROCK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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