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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;9(9):730-6. doi: 10.1038/nrm2453. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

Blebs lead the way: how to migrate without lamellipodia.

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  • 1London Centre for Nanotechnology, London, UK.


Blebs are spherical membrane protrusions that are produced by contractions of the actomyosin cortex. Blebs are often considered to be a hallmark of apoptosis; however, blebs are also frequently observed during cytokinesis and during migration in three-dimensional cultures and in vivo. For tumour cells and a number of embryonic cells, blebbing migration seems to be a common alternative to the more extensively studied lamellipodium-based motility. We argue that blebs should be promoted to a more prominent place in the world of cellular protrusions.

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