Directional persistence of EGF-induced cell migration is associated with stabilization of lamellipodial protrusions

Biophys J. 2005 Feb;88(2):1479-88. doi: 10.1529/biophysj.104.047365.


Migrating cells can sustain a relatively constant direction of lamellipodial protrusion and locomotion over timescales ranging from minutes to hours. However, individual waves of lamellipodial extension occur over much shorter characteristic times. Little understanding exists regarding how cells might integrate biophysical processes across these disparate timescales to control the directional persistence of locomotion. We address this issue by examining the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation on long-timescale directional persistence and short-timescale lamellipodial dynamics of EGF receptor-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells migrating on fibronectin-coated substrata. Addition of EGF increased persistence, with the magnitude of increase correlating with fibronectin coating concentration. Kymographic analysis of EGF-stimulated lamellipodial dynamics revealed that the temporal stability of lamellipodial protrusions similarly increased with fibronectin concentration. A soluble RGD peptide competitor reduced both the persistence of long-timescale cell paths and the stability of short-timescale membrane protrusions, indicating that cell-substratum adhesion concomitantly influences lamellipodial dynamics and directional persistence. These results reveal the importance of adhesion strength in regulating the directional motility of cells and suggest that the short-timescale kinetics of adhesion complex formation may play a key role in modulating directional persistence over much longer timescales.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Fibronectins / pharmacology*
  • Oligopeptides
  • Pseudopodia / drug effects
  • Pseudopodia / physiology*
  • Pseudopodia / ultrastructure*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Fibronectins
  • Oligopeptides
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid
  • ErbB Receptors