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Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Jan;16(1):5-10. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Dynamic modes of the cortical actomyosin gel during cell locomotion and division.

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Laboratoire Physicochimie Curie, UMR168 Institut Curie/CNRS, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France.


Tight regulation of the contractility of the actomyosin cortex is essential for proper cell locomotion and division. Enhanced contractility leads, for example, to aberrations in the positioning of the mitotic spindle or to anomalous migration modes that allow tumor cells to escape anti-dissemination treatments. Spherical membrane protrusions called blebs occasionally appear during cell migration, cell division or apoptosis. We have shown that the cortex ruptures at sites where actomyosin cortical contractility is increased, leading to the formation of blebs. Here, we propose that bleb formation, which releases cortical tension, can be used as a reporter of cortical contractility. We go on to analyze the implications of spontaneous cortical contractile behaviors on cell locomotion and division and we particularly emphasize that variations in actomyosin contractility can account for a variety of migration modes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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