Retraction in Amoeboid Cell Motility Powered by Cytoskeletal Dynamics

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Science  21 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5649, pp. 1405-1407
DOI: 10.1126/science.1089129

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Cells crawl by coupling protrusion of their leading edge with retraction of their cell body. Protrusion is generated by the polymerization and bundling of filaments, but the mechanism of retraction is less clear. We have reconstituted retraction in vitro by adding Yersinia tyrosine phosphatase to the major sperm protein–based motility apparatus assembled from Ascaris sperm extracts. Retraction in vitro parallels that observed in vivo and is generated primarily by disassembly and rearrangement of the cytoskeleton. Therefore, cytoskeletal dynamics alone, unassisted by conventional motors, are able to generate both of these central components of amoeboid locomotion.

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