A hallmark of polarity in most migrating cells is the orientation of the nuclear centrosomal (NC) axis relative to the front-back cellular axis. Here, we review 'effector functions' associated with the NC axis during cell migration. We highlight recent research that has demonstrated that the orientation of the NC axis depends upon the coordinated, but separate positioning of the nucleus and the centrosome. We stress the importance of environmental factors such as cell-cell contacts and substrate topology for NC axis orientation. Finally, we summarize tests of the significance of this axis for cell migration and disease.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by National Institutes of Health grants to G.G.G. and a Dystonia Medical Research Foundation fellowship to G.W.G.L. The authors apologize for not being able to discuss all relevant and important data in this review owing to space limitations.