Fig. 5 | Nature Communications

Fig. 5

From: Matrix mechanical plasticity regulates cancer cell migration through confining microenvironments

Fig. 5

Known modes and newly discovered mode of confined migration. For pores sizes smaller than a cell but larger than ~3 μm, it is thought that cells can squeeze through pores to migrate, without requiring proteases. It is thought that for pores smaller than ~3 μm, cells are considered confined to such a degree that they require proteases to migrate. We report a migration mode that is plasticity-mediated and protease-independent: if pores are smaller than ~3 μm and the matrix is sufficiently plastic, then cells can use progressively widening and lengthening protrusions to physically open up a channel in the surrounding matrix and enable cell migration