Changing directions in the study of chemotaxis

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;9(6):455-63. doi: 10.1038/nrm2419.


Chemotaxis--the guided movement of cells in chemical gradients--probably first emerged in our single-celled ancestors and even today is recognizably similar in neutrophils and amoebae. Chemotaxis enables immune cells to reach sites of infection, allows wounds to heal and is crucial for forming embryonic patterns. Furthermore, the manipulation of chemotaxis may help to alleviate disease states, including the metastasis of cancer cells. This review discusses recent results concerning how cells orientate in chemotactic gradients and the role of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate, what produces the force for projecting pseudopodia and a new role for the endocytic cycle in movement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemotaxis / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology
  • Dictyostelium / cytology
  • Dictyostelium / physiology
  • Humans