Chemotaxis--the directed movement of cells in a gradient of chemoattractant--is essential for neutrophils to crawl to sites of inflammation and infection and for Dictyostelium discoideum (D. discoideum) to aggregate during morphogenesis. Chemoattractant-induced activation of spatially localized cellular signals causes cells to polarize and move toward the highest concentration of the chemoattractant. Extensive studies have been devoted to achieving a better understanding of the mechanism(s) used by a neutrophil to choose its direction of polarity and to crawl effectively in response to chemoattractant gradients. Recent technological advances are beginning to reveal many fascinating details of the intracellular signaling components that spatially direct the cytoskeleton of neutrophils and D. discoideum and the complementary mechanisms that make the cell's front distinct from its back.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)