The role of chromatin structure in cell migration

Gabi Gerlitz, Michael Bustin

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Chromatin dynamics play a major role in regulating genetic processes. Now, accumulating data suggest that chromatin structure may also affect the mechanical properties of the nucleus and cell migration. Global chromatin organization appears to modulate the shape, the size and the stiffness of the nucleus. Directed-cell migration, which often requires nuclear reshaping to allow passage of cells through narrow openings, is dependent not only on changes in cytoskeletal elements but also on global chromatin condensation. Conceivably, during cell migration a physical link between the chromatin and the cytoskeleton facilitates coordinated structural changes in these two components. Thus, in addition to regulating genetic processes, we suggest that alterations in chromatin structure could facilitate cellular reorganizations necessary for efficient migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


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