The Shape of Motile Cells

Alex Mogilner, Kinneret Keren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

159 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Motile cells - fan-like keratocytes, hand-shaped nerve growth cones, polygonal fibroblasts, to name but a few - come in different shapes and sizes. We discuss the origins of this diversity as well as what shape tells us about the physics and biochemistry underlying cell movement. We start with geometric rules describing cell-edge kinetics that govern cell shape, followed by a discussion of the underlying biophysics; we consider actin treadmilling, actin-myosin contraction, cell-membrane deformations, adhesion, and the complex interactions between these modules, as well as their regulation by microtubules and Rho GTPases. Focusing on several different cell types, including keratocytes and fibroblasts, we discuss how dynamic cell morphology emerges from the interplay between the different motility modules and the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume19
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2009

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Cell Shape
Fibroblasts
Actins
Biophysics
Biochemistry
GTP Phosphohydrolases
Cell membranes
Myosins
Fans
Cones
Adhesion
Physics
Cells
fibroblasts
actin
cells
Growth Cones
Kinetics
biophysics
Microtubules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

The Shape of Motile Cells. / Mogilner, Alex; Keren, Kinneret.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 19, No. 17, 15.09.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mogilner, Alex ; Keren, Kinneret. / The Shape of Motile Cells. In: Current Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 19, No. 17.
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