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The mechanism of eukaryotic chemotaxis remains unclear despite intensive study. The most frequently described mechanism acts through attractants causing actin polymerization, in turn leading to pseudopod formation and cell movement. We recently proposed an alternative mechanism, supported by several lines of data, in which pseudopods are made by a(More)
BACKGROUND The Scar/WAVE regulatory complex (WRC) drives lamellipodia assembly via the Arp2/3 complex, whereas the Arp2/3 activator N-WASP is not essential for 2D migration but is increasingly implicated in 3D invasion. It is becoming ever more apparent that 2D and 3D migration utilize the actin cytoskeletal machinery differently. RESULTS We discovered(More)
WASP family proteins control actin polymerization by activating the Arp2/3 complex. Several subfamilies exist, but their regulation and physiological roles are not well understood, nor is it even known if all subfamilies have been identified. Our extensive search reveals few novel WASP family proteins. The WASP, WASH, and SCAR/WAVE subfamilies are(More)
Under normal conditions, the Arp2/3 complex activator SCAR/WAVE controls actin polymerization in pseudopods, whereas Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) assembles actin at clathrin-coated pits. We show that, unexpectedly, Dictyostelium discoideum SCAR knockouts could still spread, migrate, and chemotax using pseudopods driven by the Arp2/3 complex. In(More)
WASH causes actin to polymerize on vesicles involved in retrograde traffic and exocytosis. It is found within a regulatory complex, but the physiological roles of the other four members are unknown. Here we present genetic analysis of the subunits' individual functions in Dictyostelium. Mutants in each subunit are completely blocked in exocytosis. All(More)
There has been a growing appreciation over the last decade that chemotaxis plays an important role in cancer migration, invasion and metastasis. Research into the field of cancer cell chemotaxis is still in its infancy and traditional investigative tools have been developed with other cell types and purposes in mind. Direct visualisation chambers are(More)
BACKGROUND The uptake of particles by actin-powered invagination of the plasma membrane is common to protozoa and to phagocytes involved in the immune response of higher organisms. The question addressed here is how a phagocyte may use geometric cues to optimize force generation for the uptake of a particle. We survey mechanisms that enable a phagocyte to(More)
Chemotaxis is the ability of cells to move in the direction of an external gradient of signaling molecules. Cells are guided by actin-filled protrusions in the front, whereas myosin filaments retract the rear of the cell. Previous work demonstrated that chemotaxis of unpolarized amoeboid Dictyostelium discoideum cells is mediated by two parallel pathways,(More)
The high mortality of melanoma is caused by rapid spread of cancer cells, which occurs unusually early in tumour evolution. Unlike most solid tumours, thickness rather than cytological markers or differentiation is the best guide to metastatic potential. Multiple stimuli that drive melanoma cell migration have been described, but it is not clear which are(More)
BACKGROUND SCAR/WAVE is a principal regulator of pseudopod growth in crawling cells. It exists in a stable pentameric complex, which is regulated at multiple levels that are only beginning to be understood. SCAR/WAVE is phosphorylated at multiple sites, but how this affects its biological activity is unclear. Here we show that dephosphorylation of(More)