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Centrosome defines the rear of cells during mesenchymal migration.


ABSTRACT: The importance of centrosome in directional cell migration has long been recognized. However, the conventional view that centrosome determines cell's front, based on its often-observed position in front of the nucleus, has been challenged by contradictory observations. Here we show that centrosome defines the rear instead of the front, using cells plated on micropatterned adhesive strips to facilitate directional migration. We found that centrosome is always located proximal to the future rear before polarity is established through symmetry breaking or reversed as the cell reaches a dead end. In addition, using microsurgery to alter the distance of centrosomes from cells' ends, we show that centrosomal proximity is predictive of the placement of the rear. Removal of centrosome impairs directional cell migration, whereas the removal of nucleus alone makes no difference in most cells. Computer modeling under the framework of a local-enhancement/global-inhibition mechanism further demonstrates that positioning of rear retraction, mediated by signals concentrated near the centrosome, recapitulates all the experimental observations. Our results resolve a long-standing controversy and explain how cells use centrosome and microtubules to maintain directional migration.

SUBMITTER: Zhang J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5687026 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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