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Directional memory arises from long-lived cytoskeletal asymmetries in polarized chemotactic cells

Prentice-Mott, HV; Meroz, Y; Carlson, A; Levine, MA; Davidson, MW; Irimia, D; Charras, GT; ... Shah, JV; + view all (2016) Directional memory arises from long-lived cytoskeletal asymmetries in polarized chemotactic cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 113 (5) pp. 1267-1272. 10.1073/pnas.1513289113. Green open access

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Abstract

Chemotaxis, the directional migration of cells in a chemical gradient, is robust to fluctuations associated with low chemical concentrations and dynamically changing gradients as well as high saturating chemical concentrations. Although a number of reports have identified cellular behavior consistent with a directional memory that could account for behavior in these complex environments, the quantitative and molecular details of such a memory process remain unknown. Using microfluidics to confine cellular motion to a 1D channel and control chemoattractant exposure, we observed directional memory in chemotactic neutrophil-like cells. We modeled this directional memory as a long-lived intracellular asymmetry that decays slower than observed membrane phospholipid signaling. Measurements of intracellular dynamics revealed that moesin at the cell rear is a long-lived element that when inhibited, results in a reduction of memory. Inhibition of ROCK (Rho-associated protein kinase), downstream of RhoA (Ras homolog gene family, member A), stabilized moesin and directional memory while depolymerization of microtubules (MTs) disoriented moesin deposition and also reduced directional memory. Our study reveals that long-lived polarized cytoskeletal structures, specifically moesin, actomyosin, and MTs, provide a directional memory in neutrophil-like cells even as they respond on short time scales to external chemical cues.

Type: Article
Title: Directional memory arises from long-lived cytoskeletal asymmetries in polarized chemotactic cells
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1513289113
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1513289113
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Cell polarization, chemotaxis, confined cell migration, microtubules, moesin
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477014
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