As stiffness of the extracellular matrix increases, the mechanical properties of the actin cytoskeleton shifts from fluid to solid.
These findings were published in Nature Communications in 2015.
Gupta M, Sarangi BR, Deschamps J, Nematbakhsh Y, Callan-Jones A, Margadant F, Mège RM, Lim CT, Voituriez R, Ladoux B. (2015) Adaptive rheology and ordering of cell cytoskeleton govern matrix rigidity sensing. Nature Communications, 6:7525. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8525
More information on the Ladoux Lab.
Figure: As substrate stiffness increases, the arrangement of actin filaments progressively changes, from an orthoradial pattern around the nucleus to a parallel arrangement of stress fibers.