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Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2015 Jan-Feb;6(1):1-15. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1265. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Control of cell migration through mRNA localization and local translation.

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Center for Cell Biology and Cancer Research, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.


Cell migration plays an important role in many normal and pathological functions such as development, wound healing, immune defense, and tumor metastasis. Polarized migrating cells exhibit asymmetric distribution of many cytoskeletal proteins, which is believed to be critical for establishing and maintaining cell polarity and directional cell migration. To target these proteins to the site of function, cells use a variety of mechanisms such as protein transport and messenger RNA (mRNA) localization-mediated local protein synthesis. In contrast to the former which is intensively investigated and relatively well understood, the latter has been understudied and relatively poorly understood. However, recent advances in the study of mRNA localization and local translation have demonstrated that mRNA localization and local translation are specific and effective ways for protein localization and are crucial for embryo development, neuronal function, and many other cellular processes. There are excellent reviews on mRNA localization, transport, and translation during development and other cellular processes. This review will focus on mRNA localization-mediated local protein biogenesis and its impact on somatic cell migration.

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