Pouthas, F., Girard, P., Lecaudey, V., Ly, T.B., Gilmour, D., Boulin, C., Pepperkok, R., and Reynaud, E.G. (2008) In migrating cells, the Golgi complex and the position of the centrosome depend on geometrical constraints of the substratum. Journal of Cell Science. 121(Pt 14):2406-2414.
Although cells migrate in a constrained 3D environment in vivo, in-vitro studies have mainly focused on the analysis of cells moving on 2D substrates. Under such conditions, the Golgi complex is always located towards the leading edge of the cell, suggesting that it is involved in the directional movement. However, several lines of evidence indicate that this location can vary depending on the cell type, the environment or the developmental processes. We have used micro contact printing (microCP) to study the migration of cells that have a geometrically constrained shape within a polarized phenotype. Cells migrating on micropatterned lines of fibronectin are polarized and migrate in the same direction. Under such conditions, the Golgi complex and the centrosome are located behind the nucleus. In addition, the Golgi complex is often displaced several micrometres away from the nucleus. Finally, we used the zebrafish lateral line primordium as an in-vivo model of cells migrating in a constrained environment and observe a similar localization of both the Golgi and the centrosome in the leading cells. We propose that the positioning of the Golgi complex and the centrosome depends on the geometrical constraints applied to the cell rather than on a precise migratory function in the leading region.