The integration of cytoskeletal/adhesive networks is critical to epithelial mechanobiology. In this issue, Prechova et al. (2022. J. Cell Biol.https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202105146) demonstrate that the cytolinker protein plectin is essential for the construction of a cortical cytoskeletal architecture required for epithelial tensional homeostasis.

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