bioRxiv. 2019;[preprint] doi:10.1101/857623
The mechanisms facilitating the establishment of front-rear polarity in migrating cells are not fully understood, in particular in the context of bleb-driven directional migration. To gain further insight into this issue we utilized the migration of zebrafish primordial germ cells (PGCs) as an in vivo model. We followed the molecular and morphological cascade that converts apolar cells into polarized bleb-forming motile cells and analyzed the cross dependency among the different cellular functions we identified. Our results underline the critical role of antagonistic interactions between the front and the rear, in particular the role of biophysical processes including formation of barriers and transport of specific proteins to the back of the cell. These interactions direct the formation of blebs to a specific part of the cell that is specified as the cell front. In this way, spontaneous cell polarization facilitates non-directional cell motility and when biased by chemokine signals leads to migration towards specific locations.
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