Directional cell migration requires force generation that relies on the coordinated remodeling of interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is mediated by integrin-based focal adhesions (FAs). Normal FA turnover requires dynamic microtubules, and three members of the diverse group of microtubule plus-end-tracking proteins are principally involved in mediating microtubule interactions with FAs. Microtubules also alter the assembly state of FAs by modulating Rho GTPase signaling, and recent evidence suggests that microtubule-mediated clathrin-dependent and -independent endocytosis regulates FA dynamics. In addition, FA-associated microtubules may provide a polarized microtubule track for localized secretion of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). Thus, different aspects of the molecular mechanisms by which microtubules control FA turnover in migrating cells are beginning to emerge.
- Submitted: 13 June 2012
- Accepted: 30 July 2012
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