Growth response to compression: how conserved rheological properties may set a universal response.
Any cell population growing in confinement can experience a growth-induced compressive stress, from bacteria to animal cells. We observe in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae that growth decreases under pressure, and that this decrease does not seem to depend on specific mechanosensors. Using novel genetically-encoded nanoparticles (GEMs) to assess the rheological properties of a cell, we show that compressive stress alters the motion of macromolecules inside the cell, in a size-specific manner. Under compression, reactions such as protein synthesis become diffusion-limited, globally decreasing the dynamics of biomass production. We will in the end explore the possibility that the cytosolic rheological properties are partly conserved across organisms, expanding the observations on S. cerevisiae to other organisms such as bacterial and mammalian cells.