Cell Biology

Cellular Orienteering

Science Signaling  22 Apr 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 16, pp. ec147
DOI: 10.1126/stke.116ec147

How do cells control membrane retraction and the direction of cell movement? Witze et al. (see the Perspective by Bowerman) examined cells responding to the developmental signaling protein Wnt. Cultured human melanoma cells responded to Wnt5A by accumulating a cluster of receptor, adhesion, cytoskeletal, and motor proteins near the cell surface. When cells were orienting in a gradient of chemokine concentration, the protein cluster was localized asymmetrically at the posterior of the cell. This structure may help cells integrate the actions of receptors that mediate cell adhesion and cell signaling with cytoskeletal components to control membrane retraction and the direction of cell movement.

E. S. Witze, E. S. Litman, G. M. Argast, R. T. Moon, N. G. Ahn, Wnt5a control of cell polarity and directional movement by polarized redistribution of adhesion receptors. Science 320, 365-369 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

B. Bowerman, Wnt moves beyond the canon. Science 320, 327-328 (2008). [Summary] [Full Text]