• cell migration;
  • EGFR;
  • leading edge;
  • myosin VI;
  • optineurin

The polarized trafficking of membrane proteins into the leading edge of the cell is an integral requirement for cell migration. Myosin VI and its interacting protein optineurin have previously been shown to operate in anterograde trafficking pathways, especially for the polarized delivery of cargo to the basolateral domain in epithelial cells. Here we show that in migratory cells ablation of myosin VI or optineurin inhibits the polarized delivery of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) into the leading edge and leads to profound defects in lamellipodia formation. Depletion of either myosin VI or optineurin, however, does not impair the overall ability of cells to migrate in a random migration assay, but it dramatically reduces directed migration towards a growth factor stimulus. In summary, we identified a specific role for myosin VI and optineurin in directionally persistent cell migration, which involves the polarized delivery of vesicles containing EGFR into the leading edge of the cell.