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Recent advances in understanding the role of metabolic heterogeneities in cell migration


Mosier JAJenna A , Wu YYusheng , Reinhart-King CACynthia A . Faculty reviews. 2021 1 28; 10(). 8


Migration is an energy-intensive, multi-step process involving cell adhesion, protrusion, and detachment. Each of these steps require cells to generate and consume energy, regulating their morphological changes and force generation. Given the need for energy to move, cellular metabolism has emerged as a critical regulator of both single cell and collective migration. Recently, metabolic heterogeneity has been highlighted as a potential determinant of collective cell behavior, as individual cells may play distinct roles in collective migration. Several tools and techniques have been developed and adapted to study cellular energetics during migration including live-cell probes to characterize energy utilization and metabolic state and methodologies to sort cells based on their metabolic profile. Here, we review the recent advances in techniques, parsing the metabolic heterogeneities inherent in cell populations and their contributions to cell migration.