Fat body cell migration

Fat body cells migrate using an unusual mode of cell migration that does not involve lamellipodia as utilised by many known migrating cells that crawl in an adhesion-dependent fashion over substrates. Instead, fat body cell migration is adhesion-independent and involves peristaltic waves of cortical actin that propel these cells through the body fluid to the wound.

Adhesion-independent migration has recently emerged as an alternative migration mode used by several other cell types, including some cancer cells. However, the mechanisms that power this mode of migration are unclear. This is in part due to the lack of a good in vivo model. 

We use fat body cells as an in vivo model for adhesion-independent cell migration. We combine high-resolution live imaging with computational data analysis and genetic manipulations to unravel the molecular mechanism that drives fat body cell migration.



Movie showing peristaltic waves of cortical actin in migrating fat body cells