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Building invadopodia in vivo

Invadopodia are small F-actin rich, membrane associated structures that invasive cells use in development and cancer to breach basement membrane barriers to enter tissues. Shown here is the Caenorhabditis elegans anchor cell (cyan) invading across the basement membrane (magenta) and entering the vulval tissue. Using anchor cell invasion, we conducted the first genome-wide screen for genes that regulate invadopodia in vivo and reveal that the small GTPase cdc-42 seeds new invadopodia, while the guanine dissociation inhibitor gdi-1 controls the trafficking of the specialized invadopodial membrane to sites of invadopodia construction. See Lohmer, Clay et al.

Image Credit: Matthew Clay, Sherwood Lab, Duke University