Eukaryotic chemotaxis: a network of signaling pathways controls motility, directional sensing, and polarity

Annu Rev Biophys. 2010;39:265-89. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biophys.093008.131228.

Abstract

Chemotaxis, the directed migration of cells in chemical gradients, is a vital process in normal physiology and in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Chemotactic cells display motility, directional sensing, and polarity. Motility refers to the random extension of pseudopodia, which may be driven by spontaneous actin waves that propagate through the cytoskeleton. Directional sensing is mediated by a system that detects temporal and spatial stimuli and biases motility toward the gradient. Polarity gives cells morphologically and functionally distinct leading and lagging edges by relocating proteins or their activities selectively to the poles. By exploiting the genetic advantages of Dictyostelium, investigators are working out the complex network of interactions between the proteins that have been implicated in the chemotactic processes of motility, directional sensing, and polarity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Polarity*
  • Chemotaxis*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte
  • Dictyostelium / cytology
  • Dictyostelium / metabolism
  • Eukaryota / cytology*
  • Eukaryota / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / cytology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*