Directional migration requires robust front/back polarity. We find that fibroblasts treated with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and prepolarized by plating on a fibronectin line substrate exhibit persistent migration for hours. This does not occur in the absence of PDGF or on uniformly coated fibronectin substrates. Persistent migration arises from establishment of two functional modules at cell front and back. At the front, formation of a zone containing podosome-like structures (PLS) dynamically correlates with low RhoA and myosin activity and absence of a contractile lamella. At the back, myosin contractility specifically controls tail retraction with minimal crosstalk to the front module. The PLS zone is maintained in a dynamic steady state that preserves size and position relative to the cell front, allowing for long-term coordination of front and back modules. We propose that front/back uncoupling achieved by the PLS zone is crucial for persistent migration in the absence of directional cues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology