Structural networks that connect the extracellular matrix and cell surfaces through the cytoskeleton with the nucleoskeleton govern cell, tissue and organ integrity. Besides their structural roles, these networks participate in a multitude of fundamental functions, e.g. regulating signal- and mechano-transduction, cytoplasmic transport, sequestering biomolecules, maintaining genome organization and promoting meiosis. Mutations in the building blocks of these networks frequently lead to devastating diseases. The pathogenesis of these diseases is far from being understood and requires a wide interdisciplinary approach that is distinct from the individual research schemes. Based on capacity building measures, coordinated networking and educative activities and interactions with business partners and European research infrastructures, the EuroCellNet Action aims to develop an orchestrated multinational activity grid, organized in four Working Groups: 1) Biophysics of cell and tissue structure, 2) Structural analysis of biomolecules involved in mechanobiology, 3) New methodologies to study mechanobiology of cells and tissues, and 4) Mechanobiological principles of rare and common diseases. The Action targets researchers from molecular and cell biology, genetics, biophysics, structural biology, mechanobiology, neurobiology, developmental biology, pathology, and translational medicine. The Action will also develop new bridging and educative activities, and provide the scientists with a unifying dedicated website with on-line tools facilitating the interactions and exchange of information.
structural proteins - mechanobiology - mechanotransduction - cell biology - pathogenesis