1.College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University;2.Key Laboratory of Biorheology Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University
The tumor microenvironment is a dynamic landscape in which the physical and mechanical properties evolve dramatically throughout cancer progression. These changes are driven by enhanced tumor cell contractility and expansion of the growing tumor mass, as well as through alterations to the material properties of the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). Consequently, tumor cells are exposed to a number of different mechanical inputs including cell–cell and cell-ECM tension, compression stress, interstitial fluid pressure and shear stress. Obviously, there are significant differences in the mechanical environment and mechanical characteristics of different regions of tumor tissue, that is, mechanical heterogeneity. The study found that the mechanical properties of tumor tissue invasion frontier areas are more significant and complex. In particular, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tumor cells also prefers to focus on this area, Oncogenes engage signaling pathways that are activated in response to mechanical stress, thereby reworking the cell’s intrinsic response to exogenous mechanical stimuli. The mechanical stress generated by the invasion front can induce EMT of tumor cells through TWIST1, TGF-β, WNT and other force signal transduction pathways, and promote tumor cell invasion. Therefore, this review focuses on the relationship between tumor tissue mechanical heterogeneity and EMT from the perspective of tumor biomechanics, and provides a theoretical basis for mechanoenvironment-targeted therapy of tumors.