Causes of retrograde flow in fish keratocytes

Thomas Fuhs, Michael Goegler, Claudia A. Brunner, Charles W. Wolgemuth, Josef A. Kaes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Confronting motile cells with obstacles doubling as force sensors we tested the limits of the driving actin and myosin machinery. We could directly measure the force necessary to stop actin polymerization as well as the force present in the retrograde actin flow. Combined with detailed measurements of the retrograde flow velocity and specific manipulation of actin and myosin we found that actin polymerization and myosin contractility are not enough to explain the cells behavior. We show that ever-present depolymerization forces, a direct entropic consequence of actin filament recycling, are sufficient to fill this gap, even under heavy loads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-35
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Actin network and myosin motors
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cell motility and forces
  • Forces causing retrograde actin flow
  • Polymerization and depolymerization force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology


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