Blebs lead the way: how to migrate without lamellipodia

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;9(9):730-6. doi: 10.1038/nrm2453. Epub 2008 Jul 16.


Blebs are spherical membrane protrusions that are produced by contractions of the actomyosin cortex. Blebs are often considered to be a hallmark of apoptosis; however, blebs are also frequently observed during cytokinesis and during migration in three-dimensional cultures and in vivo. For tumour cells and a number of embryonic cells, blebbing migration seems to be a common alternative to the more extensively studied lamellipodium-based motility. We argue that blebs should be promoted to a more prominent place in the world of cellular protrusions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Pseudopodia / metabolism*


  • Proteins