Orientation and polarity in collectively migrating cell structures: statics and dynamics.
- Citation data:
Biophysical journal, ISSN: 1542-0086, Vol: 100, Issue: 11, Page: 2566-75
- Publication Year:
- Repository URL:
- 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.04.047; 10.3410/f.11279956.12275054
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; GAMMA-TUBULIN; CANCER; MODEL; INVASION; MOVEMENT; ADHESION; POSITION; CADHERIN; COMPLEX; MORPHOGENESIS
Collective cell migration is often characterized by the spontaneous onset of multicellular protrusions (known as fingers) led by a single leader cell. Working with epithelial Madin-Darby canine kidney monolayers we show that cells within the fingers, as compared with the epithelium, are well oriented and polarized along the main finger direction, which suggests that these cells actively migrate. The cell orientation and polarity decrease continuously from the tip toward the epithelium over a penetration distance of typically two finger lengths. Furthermore, laser photoablation experiments at various locations along these fingers demonstrate that the cells in the fingers are submitted to a tensile stress whose value is larger close to the tip. From a dynamical point of view, cells entering a finger gradually polarize on timescales that depend upon their particular initial position. Selective laser nanosurgery of the leader lamellipodium shows not only that these structures need a leader to progress, but that this leader itself is the consequence of a prior self-organization of the cells forming the finger. These results highlight the complex interplay between the collective orientation within the fingers and the mechanical action of the leader.