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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2000 Aug;46(4):247-56.

Redundancy of lamellipodia in locomoting Walker carcinosarcoma cells.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Locomoting metazoan cells usually form lamellipodia at the leading front and it is widely accepted that lamellipodia are required for locomotion. In this case, suppression of lamellipodia must stop locomotion. However, the experiments show that lamellipodia are redundant for locomotion of Walker carcinosarcoma cells. Low latrunculin A concentrations (10(-7) M) transform polarised locomoting cells with lamellipodia into cells without morphologically recognisable protrusions showing an increased speed of locomotion and a reduced amount of cellular F-actin. Whereas untreated cells show a fairly linear distribution of F-actin along the plasma membrane, cells lacking morphologically recognizable protrusions at the front show modifications at the front consisting in an irregular distribution of F-actin with formation of small or large patches of F-actin alternating with small or large gaps in the F-actin layer. This is associated with a reduced resistance to deformation pressure at the front of the cell. High concentrations of latrunculin A (>10(-7) M) compromising contraction at the rear stop locomotion, suggesting that cortical contraction is important for locomotion to occur in these cells. The results are consistent with the view that actin polymerization is important for formation of lamellipodia but they are not compatible with the view that lamellipodia are essential for locomotion of Walker carcinosarcoma cells. A unifying hypothesis for the formation of different types of protrusions is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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