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J Immunol. 2009 Feb 15;182(4):2041-50. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0803267.

Myosin-IIA and ICAM-1 regulate the interchange between two distinct modes of T cell migration.

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Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco CA 94143, USA.


How T cells achieve rapid chemotactic motility under certain circumstances and efficient cell surface surveillance in others is not fully understood. We show that T lymphocytes are motile in two distinct modes: a fast "amoeboid-like" mode, which uses sequential discontinuous contacts to the substrate; and a slower mode using a single continuously translating adhesion, similar to mesenchymal motility. Myosin-IIA is necessary for fast amoeboid motility, and our data suggests that this occurs via cyclical rear-mediated compressions that eliminate existing adhesions while licensing subsequent ones at the front of the cell. Regulation of Myosin-IIA function in T cells is thus a key mechanism to regulate surface contact area and crawling velocity within different environments. This can provide T lymphocytes with motile and adhesive properties that are uniquely suited toward alternative requirements for immune surveillance and response.

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