While the internal mechanisms that guide cell migration have been described for individual cells, Pernille Rørth at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and colleagues examined signaling activation in Drosophila border cells to uncover how groups of cells migrate collectively. They found that in the later phase of migration, leading cells have more mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation than trailing cells.1

"What's setting direction of migration is that the leading cell has not so much polarization of signaling - it seems uniform within - but leading cells have higher activation of signaling than trailing cells," says David Wilkinson, the head of developmental neurobiology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, and a Faculty of 1000 member. "I think conceptually it's very interesting because it says, in a way, the cluster is behaving ... much like the classical thinking of how individual cells behave" during migration,...

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