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Nature cell biology

Collective cell migration requires suppression of actomyosin at cell-cell contacts mediated by DDR1 and the cell polarity regulators Par3 and Par6.


PMID 21170030

Abstract

Collective cell migration occurs in a range of contexts: cancer cells frequently invade in cohorts while retaining cell-cell junctions. Here we show that collective invasion by cancer cells depends on decreasing actomyosin contractility at sites of cell-cell contact. When actomyosin is not downregulated at cell-cell contacts, migrating cells lose cohesion. We provide a molecular mechanism for this downregulation. Depletion of discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) blocks collective cancer-cell invasion in a range of two-dimensional, three-dimensional and 'organotypic' models. DDR1 coordinates the Par3/Par6 cell-polarity complex through its carboxy terminus, binding PDZ domains in Par3 and Par6. The DDR1-Par3/Par6 complex controls the localization of RhoE to cell-cell contacts, where it antagonizes ROCK-driven actomyosin contractility. Depletion of DDR1, Par3, Par6 or RhoE leads to increased actomyosin contactility at cell-cell contacts, a loss of cell-cell cohesion and defective collective cell invasion.