Melanoblasts disperse throughout the skin and populate hair follicles through long-range cell migration. During migration, cells undergo cycles of coordinated attachment and detachment from the extracellular matrix (ECM). Embryonic migration processes that require cell-ECM attachment are dependent on the integrin family of adhesion receptors. Precise regulation of integrin-mediated adhesion is important for many developmental migration events. However, the mechanisms that regulate integrin-mediated adhesion in vivo in melanoblasts are not well understood. Here, we show that autoinhibitory regulation of the integrin-associated adapter protein talin coordinates cell-ECM adhesion during melanoblast migration in vivo Specifically, an autoinhibition-defective talin mutant strengthens and stabilizes integrin-based adhesions in melanocytes, which impinges on their ability to migrate. Mice with defective talin autoinhibition exhibit delays in melanoblast migration and pigmentation defects. Our results show that coordinated integrin-mediated cell-ECM attachment is essential for melanoblast migration and that talin autoinhibition is an important mechanism for fine-tuning cell-ECM adhesion during cell migration in development.
Keywords: Adhesion; ECM; Integrins; Melanocyte; Migration; Talin; Transgenic Mice.
© 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.