Cell migration: GAPs between membrane traffic and the cytoskeleton

EMBO Rep. 2001 Apr;2(4):277-81. doi: 10.1093/embo-reports/kve072.


During cell migration, coordination between membrane traffic, cell substrate adhesion and actin reorganization is required for protrusive activity to occur at the leading edge. Actin organization is regulated by Rho family GTPases and, with a contribution from the endocytic cycle, serves to extend the cell front. The details of the molecular mechanisms that direct membrane traffic at sites of adhesion and rearrange actin at the cell edge are still unknown. However, recent findings show that a number of multi-domain proteins characterized by an ArfGAP domain interact with both actin-regulating and integrin-binding proteins, as well as affecting Rac-mediated protrusive activity and cell migration. Some of these proteins have been shown to localize to endocytic compartments and to have a role in regulating endocytosis. Given the participation of Arf proteins in regulating membrane traffic, one appealing hypothesis is that the ArfGAPs act as molecular devices that coordinate membrane traffic and cytoskeletal reorganization during cell motility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Actins
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins