Orientation and function of the nuclear-centrosomal axis during cell migration

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2011 Oct;23(5):579-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Aug 30.


A hallmark of polarity in most migrating cells is the orientation of the nuclear centrosomal (NC) axis relative to the front-back cellular axis. Here, we review 'effector functions' associated with the NC axis during cell migration. We highlight recent research that has demonstrated that the orientation of the NC axis depends upon the coordinated, but separate positioning of the nucleus and the centrosome. We stress the importance of environmental factors such as cell-cell contacts and substrate topology for NC axis orientation. Finally, we summarize tests of the significance of this axis for cell migration and disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Polarity
  • Centrosome / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Development
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / metabolism
  • Pathology