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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Oct;25(5):532-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Jul 20.

Gradient sensing during chemotaxis.

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Chemotaxis Signal Section, Laboratory of Immunogenetics, NIAID, NIH, Twinbrook II Facility, 12441 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852, United States.


Eukaryotic cells have the ability to sense chemoattractant gradients and to migrate toward the sources of attractants. The chemical gradient-guided cell movement is referred to as chemotaxis. Chemoattractants are detected by members of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that link to heterotrimeric G-proteins. The GPCR/G-protein sensing machinery is able to translate external chemoattractants fields into intercellular cues, which direct reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton that drives cell movement. Here, I review our current understanding of the formation of chemoattractant gradients in vivo, the GPCR-mediated gradient sensing, and the sophisticated signaling network that guides the function of the actin cytoskeleton.

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