Cell behaviors regulated by guidance cues in collective migration of border cells

J Cell Biol. 2011 Feb 7;192(3):513-24. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201010003.


Border cells perform a collective, invasive, and directed migration during Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis. Two receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), the platelet-derived growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor-related receptor (PVR) and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), are important for reading guidance cues, but how these cues steer migration is not well understood. During collective migration, front, back, and side extensions dynamically project from individual cells within the group. We find that guidance input from both RTKs affects the presence and size of these extensions, primarily by favoring the persistence of front extensions. Guidance cues also control the productivity of extensions, specifically rendering back extensions nonproductive. Early and late phases of border cell migration differ in efficiency of forward cluster movement, although motility of individual cells appears constant. This is caused by differences in behavioral effects of the RTKs: PVR dominantly induces large persistent front extensions and efficient streamlined group movement, whereas EGFR does not. Thus, guidance receptors steer movement of this cell group by differentially affecting multiple migration-related features.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Pvr protein, Drosophila
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases