Research Article

Tubular clathrin/AP-2 lattices pinch collagen fibers to support 3D cell migration

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Science  16 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6343, eaal4713
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4713

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Helping a cell to migrate in 3D space

Clathrin-coated pits are well known to be involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis. Independent of their role in endocytosis, Elkhatib et al. observed that clathrin-coated structures strongly accumulated along collagen fibers in migrating cells. Clathrin-coated structures assembled on and then partially wrapped around and pinched the fibers. In a three-dimensional (3D) network, this mechanism provided multiple anchoring points along cellular protrusions. In the absence of clathrin-coated structures, protrusions were shorter and migration was impaired. This mode of adhesion may cooperate with classical focal adhesions to help cancer cells move in a 3D environment.

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