Integrins traffic rapidly via circular dorsal ruffles and macropinocytosis during stimulated cell migration

Zhizhan Gu, Erika H. Noss, Victor W. Hsu, Michael B. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


During cell migration, integrins are redistributed from focal adhesions undergoing disassembly at the cell's trailing edges to new focal adhesions assembling at leading edges. The initial step of integrin redistribution is thought to require clathrin-mediated endocytosis. However, whether clathrin-mediated endocytosis functions in different contexts, such as basal versus stimulated migration, has not been determined. In this paper, we examine the spatial and temporal redistribution of integrins from focal adhesions upon stimulation by growth factors. Four-dimensional confocal live-cell imaging along with functional analysis reveals that surface integrins do not undergo significant endocytosis at ventral focal adhesions upon cell stimulation with the platelet-derived growth factor. Rather, they abruptly redistribute to dorsal circular ruffles, where they are internalized through macropinocytosis. The internalized integrins then transit through recycling endosomal compartments to repopulate newly formed focal adhesions on the ventral surface. These findings explain why integrins have long been observed to redistribute through both surface-based and internal routes and identify a new function for macropinocytosis during growth factor-induced cell migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 4 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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