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Jul 7, 2014

The fluid dynamics of collective cell migration

During development and tumor metastasis, cells prepare to migrate by undergoing an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition that loosens their connections to neighboring cells. But some cell types then migrate en masse to their final destinations, indicating that their intercellular adhesions aren't disrupted completely. Kuriyama et al. reveal that the phospholipid lysophosphatidic acid promotes the collective migration of Xenopus neural crest cells by downregulating the surface expression of N-cadherin, granting the cells fluid-like properties that enhance their movement through embryonic tissues. This biosights episode presents the paper by Kuriyama et al. from the July 7, 2014, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with senior author Roberto Mayor (University College London, UK). Produced by Caitlin Sedwick and Ben Short. See the associated paper in JCB for details on the funding provided to support this original research.


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The Rockefeller University Press