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Periodic propagating waves coordinate RhoGTPase network dynamics at the leading and trailing edges during cell migration

By Alfonso Bolado-Carrancio, Oleksii S Rukhlenko, Elena Nikonova, Mikhail A Tsyganov, Anne Wheeler, Amaya Garcia Munoz, Walter Kolch, Alex von Kriegsheim, Boris N Kholodenko

Posted 10 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.09.984054 (published DOI: 10.7554/eLife.58165)

Migrating cells need to coordinate distinct leading and trailing edge dynamics but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we combine experiments and mathematical modeling to elaborate the minimal autonomous biochemical machinery necessary and sufficient for this dynamic coordination and cell movement. RhoA activates Rac1 via DIA and inhibits Rac1 via ROCK, while Rac1 inhibits RhoA through PAK. Our data suggest that in motile, polarized cells, RhoA-ROCK interactions prevail at the rear whereas RhoA-DIA interactions dominate at the front where Rac1/Rho oscillations drive protrusions and retractions. At the rear, high RhoA and low Rac1 activities are maintained until a wave of oscillatory GTPase activities from the cell front reaches the rear, inducing transient GTPase oscillations and RhoA activity spikes. After the rear retracts, the initial GTPase pattern resumes. Our findings show how periodic, propagating GTPase waves coordinate distinct GTPase patterns at the leading and trailing edge dynamics in moving cells. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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