Cell Migration

Moving forward by localized translation

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Science  18 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6267, pp. 1488
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6267.1488-b

Proper development and morphogenesis requires many cells to coordinate movements that are influenced by local forces, or from the migration of cells under their own power. In mesenchymal cell migration, actin filaments at the front push the cell forward while the back portion is retracted. By comparing mRNA localization and translation rate in the forwardlocated protrusions relative to trailing section, Mardakheh et al. identify the mechanism by which front-back cell asymmetry is maintained. Protein translation in the front of the cell is critical to stabilize the protrusion and produce the cell's polarized morphology. Analyses reveal specific cis-regulatory mRNA UTR motifs and RNA-binding proteins, such as the exosome core complex, as important for cell migration asymmetry.

Dev. Cell. 35, 344 (2015).

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