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J Cell Sci. 2005 Mar 15;118(Pt 6):1117-28. Epub 2005 Feb 22.

Golgi polarization in a strong electric field.

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Biomedical Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK.


Directional cell migration requires proper cell polarization. The redistribution of the Golgi apparatus is an important event in the polarization and migration of many types of cells, as a polarized Golgi supplies membrane components for leading edge protrusion. Direct current electric fields induce directional cell migration in a wide variety of cells. Here we show that electric fields of 300 mV/mm induce robust Golgi polarization and directional cell migration in CHO cells. Asymmetric Src and PI 3-kinase signalling as well as actin polymerization are essential for electric field-induced Golgi polarization and directional cell migration. The Golgi polarizes at the same time as cells change morphology and migrate directionally in response to an electric field. Golgi polarization in turn significantly reinforces and maintains optimal electrotaxis. It is not known whether electrical signals, when contradicting other directional cues, are still able to polarize cells and direct cell migration. Most strikingly, Golgi polarization and cell migration simply follow the direction of an applied electric field and ignore all other cues generated by wounding a monolayer of CHO cells. Thus, an electric field of 300 mV/mm is the predominant cue to polarize the Golgi and direct cell migration mediated by PI 3-kinase and Src signalling.

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