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Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers

that inhibits Rac activity in the back of the cell, to maintain directional movement. In laboratory experiments with human and animal cells, the UCSD team discovered that the alpha4 integrin recruits enzymes that block Rac activity only at the rear of a crawling cell.

The scientists noted that alpha4 integrins are widely expressed in neural crest cells, immune system leukocytes (such as T cells), striated and smooth muscle, and neurons. For this reason, they believe the mechanism used by alpha4 integrins to localize Rac activity may participate in a wide variety of cell migratory and pathfinding events.

In addition to Nishiya and Ginsberg, additional authors were William B. Kiosses, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California; and Jaewon Han, Ph.D., UCSD Department of Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


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Source:University of California - San Diego


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