Regulation of contact inhibition of locomotion by Eph–ephrin signalling

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Abstract

Contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL) occurs when a cell stops migrating in a particular direction upon contact with another cell. Many cancer cells show Contact inhibition of locomotion when contacting one another but display contact-unimpeded migration following collision with noncancer cells. Here we review current understanding of Contact inhibition of locomotion, from Abercrombie's historical studies of cells in tissue culture to more recent analyses of Contact inhibition of locomotion in vivo. We discuss the cellular machinery required for CIL and the molecular signals that regulate it. We focus on our recent finding that in prostate cancer cells, Contact inhibition of locomotion is regulated by a balance between EphA and EphB receptor signalling. We show that, as recently described for chick heart fibroblasts, microtubule dynamics are required for Contact inhibition of locomotion in prostate cancer cells and we propose that stabilization of microtubules could account for defective Contact inhibition of locomotion between cancer cells and noncancer cells.

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