Cellular responses to extracellular guidance cues

EMBO J. 2010 Aug 18;29(16):2734-45. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.170.


Extracellular guidance cues have a key role in orchestrating cell behaviour. They can take many forms, including soluble and cell-bound ligands (proteins, lipids, peptides or small molecules) and insoluble matrix substrates, but to act as guidance cues, they must be presented to the cell in a spatially restricted manner. Cells that recognize such cues respond by activating intracellular signal transduction pathways in a spatially restricted manner and convert the extracellular information into intracellular polarity. Although extracellular cues influence a broad range of cell polarity decisions, such as mitotic spindle orientation during asymmetric cell division, or the establishment of apical-basal polarity in epithelia, this review will focus specifically on guidance cues that promote cell migration (chemotaxis), or localized cell shape changes (chemotropism).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Shape*
  • Chemotaxis*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction*