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01.12.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Respiratory Research 1/2017

The roles and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, intermediate filaments and microtubules in smooth muscle cell migration

Zeitschrift:
Respiratory Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Dale D. Tang, Brennan D. Gerlach

Abstract

Smooth muscle cell migration has been implicated in the development of respiratory and cardiovascular systems; and airway/vascular remodeling. Cell migration is a polarized cellular process involving a protrusive cell front and a retracting trailing rear. There are three cytoskeletal systems in mammalian cells: the actin cytoskeleton, the intermediate filament network, and microtubules; all of which regulate all or part of the migrated process. The dynamic actin cytoskeleton spatially and temporally regulates protrusion, adhesions, contraction, and retraction from the cell front to the rear. c-Abl tyrosine kinase plays a critical role in regulating actin dynamics and migration of airway smooth muscle cells and nonmuscle cells. Recent studies suggest that intermediate filaments undergo reorganization during migration, which coordinates focal adhesion dynamics, cell contraction, and nucleus rigidity. In particular, vimentin intermediate filaments undergo phosphorylation and reorientation in smooth muscle cells, which may regulate cell contraction and focal adhesion assembly/disassembly. Motile cells are characterized by a front-rear polarization of the microtubule framework, which regulates all essential processes leading to cell migration through its role in cell mechanics, intracellular trafficking, and signaling. This review recapitulates our current knowledge how the three cytoskeletal systems spatially and temporally modulate the migratory properties of cells. We also summarize the potential role of migration-associated biomolecules in lung and vascular diseases.
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