Collective cell durotaxis emerges from long-range intercellular force transmission

Author (s): Sunyer, R.; Conte V.; Escribano, J.; Elosegui-Artola, A.; Labernadie A.; Valon L.; Navajas D.; García-Aznar J. M.; Muñoz, J.J.; Roca-Cusachs P; Trepat, X.
Journal: Science

Volume: 353
Pages: 1157 – 1161
Date: 2016

The ability of cells to follow gradients of extracellular matrix stiffness—durotaxis—has been implicated in development, fibrosis, and cancer. Here, we found multicellular clusters that exhibited durotaxis even if isolated constituent cells did not. This emergent mode of directed collective cell migration applied to a variety of epithelial cell types, required the action of myosin motors, and originated from supracellular transmission of contractile physical forces. To explain the observed phenomenology, we developed a generalized clutch model in which local stick-slip dynamics of cell-matrix adhesions was integrated to the tissue level through cell-cell junctions. Collective durotaxis is far more efficient than single-cell durotaxis; it thus emerges as a robust mechanism to direct cell migration during development, wound healing, and collective cancer cell invasion.



@article {Sunyer1157,
	author = {Sunyer, Raimon and Conte, Vito and Escribano, Jorge and Elosegui-Artola, Alberto and Labernadie, Anna and Valon, L{\'e}o and Navajas, Daniel and Garc{\'\i}a-Aznar, Jos{\'e} Manuel and Mu{\~n}oz, Jos{\'e} J. and Roca-Cusachs, Pere and Trepat, Xavier},
	title = {Collective cell durotaxis emerges from long-range intercellular force transmission},
	volume = {353},
	number = {6304},
	pages = {1157--1161},
	year = {2016},
	doi = {10.1126/science.aaf7119},
	publisher = {American Association for the Advancement of Science},
	issn = {0036-8075},
	URL = {},
	eprint = {},
	journal = {Science}