Cell adhesion: integrating cytoskeletal dynamics and cellular tension

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Sep;11(9):633-43. doi: 10.1038/nrm2957.


Cell migration affects all morphogenetic processes and contributes to numerous diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. For most cells in most environments, movement begins with protrusion of the cell membrane followed by the formation of new adhesions at the cell front that link the actin cytoskeleton to the substratum, generation of traction forces that move the cell forwards and disassembly of adhesions at the cell rear. Adhesion formation and disassembly drive the migration cycle by activating Rho GTPases, which in turn regulate actin polymerization and myosin II activity, and therefore adhesion dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Myosin Type II / metabolism
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Myosin Type II
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins