Protrusive activity quantitatively determines the rate and direction of cell locomotion

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1996;33(4):241-51. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0169(1996)33:4<241::AID-CM1>3.0.CO;2-C.


Locomoting blebbing cells have been used as a model to obtain novel insight into the mechanisms of cell locomotion. We tested the hypothesis that locomotion can be due to progressive one-sided protrusion of cellular volume into pseudopods. The hypothesis is supported by the finding that the rate and direction of locomotion of individual Walker carcinosarcoma cells can be predicted by sequential measurement of protrusive activity. Protrusive activity at the front is closely associated with forward movement of the rear part of the cell. During bleb formation the cell membrane of Walker carcinosarcoma cells is pushed forward faster (1.2-4.1 microns/sec) than known rates of actin elongation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma 256, Walker
  • Cell Membrane
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological