Analysis of the Formation and Function of Different Cell Protusion Types During Cell Migration in Vivo

Project Period: 2011-01-01 – 2011-10-15
Externally Funded
Principal Investigator
Carl-Philipp J Heisenberg
Heisenberg Group
Analysis of the formation and function of different cell protrusion types during cell migration in vivo Cell migration requires directional polarization, usually achieved by the formation of a leading edge protrusion. Cells migrating in three-dimensional environments can form various protrusion types, including actin-filled lamellipodia and actomyosin contractility-driven blebs. Both lamellipodia and blebs have been involved in driving cell migration; however, their specific functions remain unclear. In this project, we have shown that increasing the ratio of blebs to lamellipodia in mesendoderm progenitors during zebrafish gastrulation reduces the directional persistence of cell migration. Moreover, we have provided evidence that zebrafish mesendoderm progenitors migrate by alternating run phases of directed migration and tumbles associated with cell reorientation. We further have shown that directed lamellipodia primarily form during run phases and blebbing is enhanced during reorientation events. Strikingly, changing the ratio of lamellipodia to blebs leads to corresponding changes in both the ratio of run to tumble phases and the directional persistence of mesendoderm cell migration. Together, our data suggest a new mechanism for the control of directional mesendoderm cell migration, whereby the ratio of lamellipodia to blebs determines the ratio of run and tumble phases, required for the optimization of directed migration in vivo. This sheds new light on our understanding of the specific functions of various protrusion types during cell migration in vivo.
Grant Number
Funding Organisation

2 Publications

2013 | Journal Article | IST-REx-ID: 2884
Cell adhesion mechanics of zebrafish gastrulation
J.-L. Maître, H. Berthoumieux, G. Krens, G. Salbreux, F. Julicher, E. Paluch, C.-P.J. Heisenberg, Medecine Sciences 29 (2013) 147–150.
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2016 | Journal Article | IST-REx-ID: 1271   OA
Steering cell migration by alternating blebs and actin-rich protrusions
A. Diz Muñoz, P. Romanczuk, W. Yu, M. Bergert, K. Ivanovitch, G. Salbreux, C.-P.J. Heisenberg, E. Paluch, BMC Biology 14 (2016).
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