Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Science 322 (5907): 1502-1505

Copyright © 2008 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Morphogenetic Cell Movements: Diversity from Modular Mechanical Properties

Denise J. Montell

Abstract: Animal tissue and organ development requires the orchestration of cell movements, including those of interconnected cell groups, termed collective cell movements. Such movements are incredibly diverse. Recent work suggests that two core cellular properties, cell-cell adhesion and contractility, can largely determine geometry, packing, sorting, and rearrangement of epithelial cell layers. Two additional force-generating properties, the ability to generate cell protrusions and cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix, contribute to active motility. These mechanical properties can be regulated independently in cells, suggesting that they can be employed in a combinatorial manner. A small number of properties used in combination could, in principle, generate a diverse array of cell shapes and arrangements and thus orchestrate the varied morphogenetic events observed during metazoan organ development.

Department of Biological Chemistry, Center for Cell Dynamics, Rangos Building, Suite 450, 855 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. E-mail: dmontell{at}

Quantitative cell polarity imaging defines leader-to-follower transitions during collective migration and the key role of microtubule-dependent adherens junction formation.
C. Revenu, S. Streichan, E. Dona, V. Lecaudey, L. Hufnagel, and D. Gilmour (2014)
Development 141, 1282-1291
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A central role for vimentin in regulating repair function during healing of the lens epithelium.
A. S. Menko, B. M. Bleaken, A. A. Libowitz, L. Zhang, M. A. Stepp, and J. L. Walker (2014)
Mol. Biol. Cell 25, 776-790
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Theory of epithelial sheet morphology in three dimensions.
E. Hannezo, J. Prost, and J.-F. Joanny (2014)
PNAS 111, 27-32
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The Hippo pathway polarizes the actin cytoskeleton during collective migration of Drosophila border cells.
E. P. Lucas, I. Khanal, P. Gaspar, G. C. Fletcher, C. Polesello, N. Tapon, and B. J. Thompson (2013)
J. Cell Biol. 201, 875-885
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mathematical modelling in developmental biology.
O. Vasieva, M. Rasolonjanahary, and B. Vasiev (2013)
Reproduction 145, R175-R184
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Syndecan-1 controls cell migration by activating Rap1 to regulate focal adhesion disassembly.
W. A. Altemeier, S. Y. Schlesinger, C. A. Buell, W. C. Parks, and P. Chen (2012)
J. Cell Sci. 125, 5188-5195
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Drosophila sosie functions with {beta}H-Spectrin and actin organizers in cell migration, epithelial morphogenesis and cortical stability.
O. Urwyler, F. Cortinas-Elizondo, and B. Suter (2012)
Biology Open 1, 994-1005
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Matrix Rigidity Controls Endothelial Differentiation and Morphogenesis of Cardiac Precursors.
Kshitiz, M. E. Hubbi, E. H. Ahn, J. Downey, J. Afzal, D.-H. Kim, S. Rey, C. Chang, A. Kundu, G. L. Semenza, et al. (2012)
Science Signaling 5, ra41
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Tropomodulin 1 Constrains Fiber Cell Geometry during Elongation and Maturation in the Lens Cortex.
R. B. Nowak and V. M. Fowler (2012)
Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry 60, 414-427
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Tissue Architecture in the Caenorhabditis elegans Gonad Depends on Interactions Among Fibulin-1, Type IV Collagen and the ADAMTS Extracellular Protease.
Y. Kubota, K. Nagata, A. Sugimoto, and K. Nishiwaki (2012)
Genetics 190, 1379-1388
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The extracellular matrix: A dynamic niche in cancer progression.
P. Lu, V. M. Weaver, and Z. Werb (2012)
J. Cell Biol. 196, 395-406
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
{alpha}-Actinin-4/FSGS1 is required for Arp2/3-dependent actin assembly at the adherens junction.
V. W. Tang and W. M. Brieher (2012)
J. Cell Biol. 196, 115-130
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Angiogenic morphogenesis driven by dynamic and heterogeneous collective endothelial cell movement.
S. Arima, K. Nishiyama, T. Ko, Y. Arima, Y. Hakozaki, K. Sugihara, H. Koseki, Y. Uchijima, Y. Kurihara, and H. Kurihara (2011)
Development 138, 4763-4776
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mechanosensitive EPLIN-dependent remodeling of adherens junctions regulates epithelial reshaping.
K. Taguchi, T. Ishiuchi, and M. Takeichi (2011)
J. Cell Biol. 194, 643-656
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Rac1 mediates morphogenetic responses to intercellular signals in the gastrulating mouse embryo.
I. Migeotte, J. Grego-Bessa, and K. V. Anderson (2011)
Development 138, 3011-3020
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.
A. V. Badyaev (2011)
Proc R Soc B 278, 1921-1929
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Myosin IIA/IIB restrict adhesive and protrusive signaling to generate front-back polarity in migrating cells.
M. Vicente-Manzanares, K. Newell-Litwa, A. I. Bachir, L. A. Whitmore, and A. R. Horwitz (2011)
J. Cell Biol. 193, 381-396
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Dynamics of adherens junctions in epithelial establishment, maintenance, and remodeling.
B. Baum and M. Georgiou (2011)
J. Cell Biol. 192, 907-917
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Spatial restriction of receptor tyrosine kinase activity through a polarized endocytic cycle controls border cell migration.
G. Assaker, D. Ramel, S. K. Wculek, M. Gonzalez-Gaitan, and G. Emery (2010)
PNAS 107, 22558-22563
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Modeling bistable cell-fate choices in the Drosophila eye: qualitative and quantitative perspectives.
T. G. W. Graham, S. M. A. Tabei, A. R. Dinner, and I. Rebay (2010)
Development 137, 2265-2278
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mesoderm migration in Drosophila is a multi-step process requiring FGF signaling and integrin activity.
A. McMahon, G. T. Reeves, W. Supatto, and A. Stathopoulos (2010)
Development 137, 2167-2175
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Branching morphogenesis: Rac signaling "PIX" tubulogenesis. Focus on "Pak1 regulates branching morphogenesis in 3D MDCK cell culture by a PIX and {beta}1-integrin-dependent mechanism".
J. A. Marrs (2010)
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 299, C7-C10
   Full Text »    PDF »
Intercellular mechanotransduction during multicellular morphodynamics.
J. H. Kim, L. J. Dooling, and A. R. Asthagiri (2010)
J R Soc Interface 7, S341-S350
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mechanisms of Motility in Metastasizing Cells.
M. Yilmaz and G. Christofori (2010)
Mol. Cancer Res. 8, 629-642
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Cdc42 antagonizes Rho1 activity at adherens junctions to limit epithelial cell apical tension.
S. J. Warner and G. D. Longmore (2009)
J. Cell Biol. 187, 119-133
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Collective cell migration in development.
C. J. Weijer (2009)
J. Cell Sci. 122, 3215-3223
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882