Progress in protrusion: the tell-tale scar

Trends Biochem Sci. 1999 Nov;24(11):432-6. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(99)01461-9.


The crawling movement of a cell involves protrusion of its leading edge, in coordination with the translocation of its cell body, and depends upon a cytoplasmic machinery able to respond to signals from the environment. Protrusion is now understood to be driven by actin polymerization, and signalling from membrane receptors to actin has been shown to be mediated by the Rho family of GTPases. However, a major gap in our understanding of regulated motility has been how to connect the signalling pathway to the motile machinery itself. Recent structural, biochemical and genetic studies have identified some of the missing links and provided a strong working model for the pathways and mechanisms by which the signals are interpreted and implemented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin-Related Protein 2
  • Actin-Related Protein 3
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins*
  • Kinetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Pseudopodia / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein


  • Actin-Related Protein 2
  • Actin-Related Protein 3
  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein