Cell clusters adopt a collective amoeboid mode of migration in confined nonadhesive environments

Nom de la revue
Science Advances
Diane-Laure Pagès, Emmanuel Dornier, Jean de Seze, Emilie Gontran, Ananyo Maitra, Aurore Maciejewski, Li Wang, Rui Luan, Jérôme Cartry, Charlotte Canet-Jourdan, Joël Raingeaud, Grégoire Lemahieu, Marceline Lebel, Michel Ducreux, Maximiliano Gelli, Jean-Yves Scoazec, Mathieu Coppey, Raphaël Voituriez, Matthieu Piel, Fanny Jaulin

Cell migration is essential to living organisms and deregulated in cancer. Single cell’s migration ranges from traction-dependent mesenchymal motility to contractility-driven propulsive amoeboid locomotion, but collective cell migration has only been described as a focal adhesion–dependent and traction-dependent process. Here, we show that cancer cell clusters, from patients and cell lines, migrate without focal adhesions when confined into nonadhesive microfabricated channels. Clusters coordinate and behave like giant super cells, mobilizing their actomyosin contractility at the rear to power their migration. This polarized cortex does not sustain persistent retrograde flows, of cells or actin, like in the other modes of migration but rather harnesses fluctuating cell deformations, or jiggling. Theoretical physical modeling shows this is sufficient to create a gradient of friction forces and trigger directed cluster motion. This collective amoeboid mode of migration could foster metastatic spread by enabling cells to cross a wide spectrum of environments.