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Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Feb;15(2):76-83.

Regulation of microtubules in cell migration.

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Department of Cell Pharmacology, Nagoya University, Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai, Showa, Nagoya, Aichi 466-8550, Japan.


Directional cell migration is a fundamental process in all organisms that is stringently regulated during tissue development, chemotaxis and wound healing. Migrating cells have a polarized morphology with an asymmetrical distribution of signaling molecules and the cytoskeleton. Microtubules are indispensable for the directional migration of certain cells. Recent studies have shown that Rho family GTPases, which are key regulators of cell migration, affect microtubules, in addition to the actin cytoskeleton and adhesion. Rho family GTPases capture and stabilize microtubules through their effectors at the cell cortex, leading to a polarized microtubule array; in turn, microtubules modulate the activities of Rho family GTPases. In this article, we discuss how a polarized microtubule array is established and how microtubules facilitate cell migration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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