Focal Adhesion Motility Revealed in Stationary Fibroblasts

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Science  05 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5442, pp. 1172-1174
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5442.1172

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Focal adhesions (FAs) are clustered integrins and associated proteins that mediate cell adhesion and signaling. A green fluorescent protein–β1 integrin chimera was used to label FAs in living cells. In stationary cells, FAs were highly motile, moving linearly for several plaque lengths toward the cell center. FA motility was independent of cell density and resulted from contraction of associated actin fibers. In migrating cells, FAs were stationary and only moved in the tail. FA motility in stationary cells suggests that cell movement may be regulated by a clutch-like mechanism by which the affinity of integrins to substrate may be altered in response to migratory cues.

  • * All authors contributed equally to this study.

  • Present address: Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

  • Present address: Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

  • § To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ggg1{at}

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