Migration of Zebrafish Primordial Germ Cells: A Role for Myosin Contraction and Cytoplasmic Flow

Heiko Blaser, Michal Reichman-Fried, Irinka Castanon, Karin Dumstrei, Florence L L. Marlow, Koichi Kawakami, Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Carl Philipp Heisenberg, Erez Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

255 Scopus citations

Abstract

The molecular and cellular mechanisms governing cell motility and directed migration in response to the chemokine SDF-1 are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that zebrafish primordial germ cells whose migration is guided by SDF-1 generate bleb-like protrusions that are powered by cytoplasmic flow. Protrusions are formed at sites of higher levels of free calcium where activation of myosin contraction occurs. Separation of the acto-myosin cortex from the plasma membrane at these sites is followed by a flow of cytoplasm into the forming bleb. We propose that polarized activation of the receptor CXCR4 leads to a rise in free calcium that in turn activates myosin contraction in the part of the cell responding to higher levels of the ligand SDF-1. The biased formation of new protrusions in a particular region of the cell in response to SDF-1 defines the leading edge and the direction of cell migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-627
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental cell
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • CELLBIO
  • DEVBIO
  • STEMCELL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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