Lateral membrane waves constitute a universal dynamic pattern of motile cells.
Döbereiner H-G., Dubin-Thaler BJ., Hofman JM., Xenias HS., Sims TN., Giannone G., Dustin ML., Wiggins CH., Sheetz MP.
We have monitored active movements of the cell circumference on specifically coated substrates for a variety of cells including mouse embryonic fibroblasts and T cells, as well as wing disk cells from fruit flies. Despite having different functions and being from multiple phyla, these cell types share a common spatiotemporal pattern in their normal membrane velocity; we show that protrusion and retraction events are organized in lateral waves along the cell membrane. These wave patterns indicate both spatial and temporal long-range periodic correlations of the actomyosin gel.