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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Aug;10(8):538-49. doi: 10.1038/nrm2729. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Random versus directionally persistent cell migration.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. e-mails:


Directional migration is an important component of cell motility. Although the basic mechanisms of random cell movement are well characterized, no single model explains the complex regulation of directional migration. Multiple factors operate at each step of cell migration to stabilize lamellipodia and maintain directional migration. Factors such as the topography of the extracellular matrix, the cellular polarity machinery, receptor signalling, integrin trafficking, integrin co-receptors and actomyosin contraction converge on regulation of the Rho family of GTPases and the control of lamellipodial protrusions to promote directional migration.

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