Mechanisms and in vivo functions of contact inhibition of locomotion

Brian Stramer*, Roberto Mayor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL) is a process whereby a cell ceases motility or changes its trajectory upon collision with another cell. CIL was initially characterized more than half a century ago and became a widely studied model system to understand how cells migrate and dynamically interact. Although CIL fell from interest for several decades, the scientific community has recently rediscovered this process. We are now beginning to understand the precise steps of this complex behaviour and to elucidate its regulatory components, including receptors, polarity proteins and cytoskeletal elements. Furthermore, this process is no longer just in vitro phenomenology; we now know from several different in vivo models that CIL is essential for embryogenesis and in governing behaviours such as cell dispersion, boundary formation and collective cell migration. In addition, changes in CIL responses have been associated with other physiological processes, such as cancer cell dissemination during metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sept 2016


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