Cell Migration

Consumed by your own attraction

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Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 184
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6282.184-b

Cell migration is a fundamental biological phenomenon. Cells follow gradients of chemo-attractants whether generated by secretion or breakdown of other cells, or from diffusion of drugs or small molecules. Tweedy et al. investigated the possibility that cells can self-generate gradients by comparing observations of Dictyostelium cells grown under agarose containing folate as the attractant. Once Dictyostelium was added to a well cut into a sheet of folate-containing agarose, a dense leading edge of migrating cells soon formed that traveled under the agarose. Behind the front of directionally moving cells, cell activity was random, because the chemo-attractant had been completely consumed by the folate deaminase activity of the leading cells. This kind of cell behavior may be widespread and may explain the behavior of cells during development, cancer, wound healing, and immune responses.

PLOS Bio. 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002404 (2016).

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