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Michael Abercrombie: contact inhibition of locomotion and more

Roycroft, A; Mayor, R; (2017) Michael Abercrombie: contact inhibition of locomotion and more. International Journal of Developmental Biology , 62 (1-3) pp. 4-13. 10.1387/ijdb.170277rm. Green open access

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Abstract

Michael Abercrombie is regarded as one of the principal pioneers of cell biology. Although Abercrombie began his career as an experimental embryologist, working on the avian organizer with C. H. Waddington, questions on how cells in culture migrate and interact dominated his career. Whilst studying the social behaviour of chick heart embryonic fibroblasts, Abercrombie identified a phenomenon whereby colliding cells collapse their protrusions towards the cell-cell contact upon a collision, preventing their continued migration. The cells then form protrusions away from the contact and, space permitting, migrate away from each other. This behaviour is now referred to as ‘contact inhibition of locomotion’ and has been identified within embryology as the driving force behind the directional migration of the neural crest and the dispersion patterning of haemocytes and Cajal-Retzius neurons. Furthermore, its loss between collisions of cancer cells and healthy cells is associated with metastasis. In this review we begin with an overview of Abercrombie’s life and highlight some of his key publications. We then discuss Abercrombie’s discovery of contact inhibition of locomotion, the roles which cell-cell adhesions, cell-matrix adhesions and the cytoskeleton play in facilitating this phenomenon, and the importance of contact inhibition of locomotion within the living organism.

Type: Article
Title: Michael Abercrombie: contact inhibition of locomotion and more
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1387/ijdb.170277rm
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1387/ijdb.170277rm
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Developmental Biology, Abercrombie, contact inhibition of locomotion, cell migration, cancer, NEURAL CREST CELLS, INTERFERENCE REFLECTION MICROSCOPY, TISSUE-CULTURE, DIRECTIONAL MIGRATION, EXTRACELLULAR-MATRIX, SUBSTRATE ADHESION, CADHERIN ADHESION, PRIMITIVE STREAK, LEADING LAMELLA, FOCAL ADHESIONS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050159
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