Cells migrating through a tissue exert force via their cytoskeleton and are themselves subject to tension, but the effects of physical forces on cell behavior in vivo are poorly understood. Border cell migration during Drosophila oogenesis is a useful model for invasive cell movement. We report that this migration requires the activity of the transcriptional factor serum response factor (SRF) and its cofactor MAL-D and present evidence that nuclear accumulation of MAL-D is induced by cell stretching. Border cells that cannot migrate lack nuclear MAL-D but can accumulate it if they are pulled by other migrating cells. Like mammalian MAL, MAL-D also responds to activated Diaphanous, which affects actin dynamics. MAL-D/SRF activity is required to build a robust actin cytoskeleton in the migrating cells; mutant cells break apart when initiating migration. Thus, tension-induced MAL-D activity may provide a feedback mechanism for enhancing cytoskeletal strength during invasive migration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology