Cease-fire at the leading edge: new perspectives on actin filament branching, debranching, and cross-linking

Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2011 Nov;68(11):596-602. doi: 10.1002/cm.20543. Epub 2011 Oct 28.


Membrane protrusion at the leading edge of migrating cells is driven by the polymerization of actin. Recent studies using advanced imaging techniques raised a lively controversy about the morphology of these filaments; however, common ground between the two sides now appears to have been found. Here we discuss how the controversy has led to a deeper consideration of the architecture of actin networks underlying cell migration, and has helped define new challenges that lie ahead.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism


  • Microfilament Proteins