Endocytosis and recycling are emerging as essential components of the wiring enabling cells to perceive extracellular signals and resolve them in a temporally and spatially controlled fashion, directly influencing not only the duration and intensity of the signaling output, but also its correct location. One process, which requires the precise resolution of spatial information, is actin-based cell motility. This is achieved by coordinating membrane traffic, cell substrate adhesion, and actin remodeling in order to generate propulsive forces responsible for the formation of a diverse set of polarized migratory protrusions, the first steps of cell locomotion. Here, we will discuss how prototypical endocytic molecules control actin dynamics, frequently by linking the core machinery of actin polymerization to the plasma membrane. We will further discuss how endocytosis and recycling ensure spatial restriction of signaling to actin dynamics, thus enabling cells to migrate in response to different extracellular stimuli and in diverse microenvironments adopting diverse motile strategies, which have important implications in relevant physiological and pathological processes, first and foremost cancer cell invasion and dissemination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas