Rho GTPases in collective cell migration
SourceSmall Gtpases, 5, (2014), pp. e28997
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 2: Cancer development and immune defence RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
The family of Rho GTPases are intracellular signal transducers that link cell surface signals to multiple intracellular responses. They are best known for their role in regulating actin dynamics required for cell migration, but in addition control cell-cell adhesion, polarization, vesicle trafficking, and the cell cycle. The roles of Rho GTPases in single mesenchymal cell migration are well established and rely on Cdc42- and Rac-dependent cell protrusion of a leading edge, coupled to Rho-dependent contractility required to move the cell body forward. In cells migrating collectively, cell-cell junctions are maintained, and migrating leader cells are mechanically coupled to, and coordinate, migration with follower cells. Recent evidence suggests that Rho GTPases provide multifunctional input to collective cell polarization, cell-cell interaction, and migration. Here, we discuss the role of Rho GTPases in initiating and maintaining front-rear, apical-basal cell polarization, mechanotransduction, and cell-cell junction stability between leader and follower cells, and how these roles are integrated in collective migration. Thereby, spatiotemporal fine-tuning of Rho GTPases within the same cell and among cells in the cell group are crucial in controlling potentially conflicting, divergent cell adhesion and cytoskeletal functions to achieve supracellular coordination and mechanocoupling.
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