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Expanding Inner Ear Progenitor Cells

The impact of extracellular matrix mechanical cues and mechanotransduction signaling on inner ear progenitor cell (IEPCs) fate remains relatively undescribed; however, researchers led by Wenyan Li and Huawei Li (Fudan University, Shanghai, China) now provide the first demonstration that Ras homolog family member A (RhoA)‐mediated actin cytoskeletal contractility plays a critical role in regulating the response of IEPCs to microenvironmental mechanical cues through their application of suspension and encapsulated culture systems. More specifically, this new STEM CELLS article from Xia et al. characterized Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) as a mediator of mechanotransduction signaling in the expansion of IEPCs, partly through regulating b-catenin activity.