Cell Biology

Let's Move It

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Science  08 Aug 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5890, pp. 746
DOI: 10.1126/science.321.5890.746d

Animal morphogenesis requires that both individual cells and groups of them migrate in a concerted fashion. The mechanisms involved in migration and coordination have been the focus of many studies. Nakao et al. reveal how a protein with a role in cell-cell contact actually promotes the joint migration of interacting cells. Generally, cell-cell contact is a signal for cells to stop moving. However, the interaction between OL-protocadherin molecules on neighboring cells stimulates the Nap1-dependent and WAVE-dependent rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton and encourages the cells to move in tandem. Using astrocytoma cells that expressed OL-protocadherin, or Nap1, or both, the authors defined a pathway through which OL-protocadherin specifically stimulates joint cell migration, while having no effect on an individual cell's capacity to migrate. — SMH

J. Cell Biol. 182, 395 (2008).

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