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Sci STKE. 2007 Nov 13;2007(412):pe63.

Tumbling, an interactive way to move forward.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine of the Skirball Institute, Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


The migration of Drosophila border cells has become a powerful model with which to genetically identify guidance cues that control the directed migration of a group of interconnected cells. During oogenesis, border cells delaminate from an epithelial layer and move collectively toward the oocyte. In vivo observation has been added to the impressive experimental toolkit available to study border cell migration. These studies reveal two previously unknown migratory behaviors: one in which cells within the border cell cluster constantly change their position, and another called "tumbling," by which the entire border cell cluster rotates forward. Unexpectedly, the same receptor tyrosine kinases control these different modes of migration through separate downstream pathways. An early mode is mediated by the actin regulatory proteins ELMO and Mbc and resembles cellular polarization during individual cell migration; whereas during a later phase, communication between cells, facilitated by mitogen-activated protein kinase and phospholipase C-gamma, organizes the polarity of the entire cluster.

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