Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Push Me, Pull You, That’s the Way to Move

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Science Signaling  02 Sep 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 341, pp. ec241
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005854

Primary cells, derived directly from human tissue, exhibit different behaviors in shape and signaling within three-dimensional (3D) or 2D spaces. When the pressure within the cell increases, cells display limblike bumps, which they use to move through their 3D environment. Petrie et al. now show that when the complex of actin and myosin contracts, it controls the pressure within cells and therefore the shape of those protruding structures (see the Perspective by DeSimone and Horwitz). The authors measured internal pressures in migrating mammalian cells. In the 3D matrix, those cells have higher pressure that differs between the front and back of the cell, which creates a piston effect.

R. J. Petrie, H. Koo, K. M. Yamada, Generation of compartmentalized pressure by a nuclear piston governs cell motility in a 3D matrix. Science 345, 1062–1065 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]

D. W. DeSimone, A. R. Horwitz, Many modes of motility. Science 345, 1002–1003 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]