Actin-Membrane Release Initiates Cell Protrusions

Erik S. Welf, Christopher E. Miles, Jaewon Huh, Etai Sapoznik, Joseph Chi, Meghan K. Driscoll, Tadamoto Isogai, Jungsik Noh, Andrew D. Weems, Theresa Pohlkamp, Kevin Dean, Reto Fiolka, Alex Mogilner, Gaudenz Danuser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Using experiments and mathematical modeling, Welf et al. identify that plasma membrane detachment from actin is needed to initiate cell protrusion, regardless of whether actin polymerization or intracellular pressure create pushing forces. Their actin release model augments the tethered Brownian ratchet model, explaining why actin polymerization alone cannot initiate protrusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-736.e8
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 21 2020


  • Brownian ratchet model
  • actin dynamics
  • cytoskeleton
  • intracellular force
  • lamellipodium
  • morphology
  • polymerization
  • protrusion
  • shape change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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