GMF promotes leading-edge dynamics and collective cell migration in vivo

Minna Poukkula, Markku Hakala, Nalle Pentinmikko, Meredith O. Sweeney, Silvia Jansen, Jaakko Mattila, Ville Hietakangas, Bruce L. Goode, Pekka Lappalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Summary Lamellipodia are dynamic actin-rich cellular extensions that drive advancement of the leading edge during cell migration [1-3]. Lamellipodia undergo periodic extension and retraction cycles [4-8], but the molecular mechanisms underlying these dynamics and their role in cell migration have remained obscure. We show that glia-maturation factor (GMF), which is an Arp2/3 complex inhibitor and actin filament debranching factor [9, 10], regulates lamellipodial protrusion dynamics in living cells. In cultured S2R+ cells, GMF silencing resulted in an increase in the width of lamellipodial actin filament arrays. Importantly, live-cell imaging of mutant Drosophila egg chambers revealed that the dynamics of actin-rich protrusions in migrating border cells is diminished in the absence of GMF. Consequently, velocity of border cell clusters undergoing guided migration was reduced in GMF mutant flies. Furthermore, genetic studies demonstrated that GMF cooperates with the Drosophila homolog of Aip1 (flare) in promoting disassembly of Arp2/3-nucleated actin filament networks and driving border cell migration. These data suggest that GMF functions in vivo to promote the disassembly of Arp2/3-nucleated actin filament arrays, making an important contribution to cell migration within a 3D tissue environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2533-2540
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 3 2014


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