Cell locomotion: new research tests old ideas on membrane and cytoskeletal flow

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1991;18(4):245-57. doi: 10.1002/cm.970180402.


Recent studies on the mobility of membrane markers on crawling cells indicate that there is no long-range centripetal flow of membrane proteins or lipids during cell locomotion. In this article we reflect on the history of ideas about membrane flow in cells, and we discuss how these new findings will shift the focus of research in cell locomotion away from the cell surface to the molecular interactions and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Lipids / physiology
  • Membrane Fluidity
  • Pseudopodia / physiology


  • Actins
  • Lipids