Key Difference – Cell Migration vs Invasion
Migration and invasion are two processes that can be observed in living cells. Cell migration is an important process in multicellular organisms for development and maintenance. It is a central process occurring in cells for tissue development, wound healing, immune responses, etc. Cell invasion, which is related to cell migration, refers to the ability of cells to become motile and travel through the extracellular matrix within a tissue or infiltrate into neighboring tissues. The key difference between the cell migration and cell invasion is that, cell migration refers to a normal cell movement while cell invasion refers to the cells actively going into tissues or neighboring cells.
What is Cell Migration?
Cells move from one location to another location for various purposes. Cell migration is an essential cellular process for multicellular organisms. During the gastrulation, epithelial sheets migrate to show morphogenesis. During the development of the nervous system, cell migration is very important. Tissue regeneration also requires cell migration. The immune system uses cell motility to dispatch white blood cells to infection sites to defend the body against pathogens. Leukocytes are highly motile and show rapid migration to foreign particles to neutralize the pathogenicity. Wound repair is a consequence of cell migration.
Cell migration requires modification of the cell shape and stiffness to interact with surrounding tissues. Extracellular matrix provides the substrate for cell migration. Cells are packed with adhesive proteins and at the initiation of the migration, the level of these proteins reduces to allow cell migration. Cell migration is observed in tissues using a cell migration assay. It measures the number of cells traveled through a porous membrane.
What is Cell Invasion?
Cell invasion is a type of aberrant cell migration which is related to various pathologies. It can be defined as the ability of cells to migrate through the extracellular matrices and to penetrate into tissues or infiltrate into neighboring new tissues. It involves proteolysis enzymes such as lysosomal hydrolysates, collagenases, plasminogen activators, etc. Cell invasion is common in malignant cancer cells. Cancer cells disseminate to secondary sites with the help of cell invasion. Cell invasion can also be defined as the ability of malignant tumor cells to invade normal surrounding tissues. Cell invasion allows cancer cells to change the positions within the tissues and spread quickly into a vast area of the body. Cell invasion has distinct functions. They are adhesion, motility, detachment, and extracellular matrix proteolysis.
What is the difference between Cell Migration and Invasion?
Cell Migration vs Invasion
|Cell migration is the process of normal cell movement in response to chemical signals.||Cell invasion is the ability of cells to migrate and navigate through the extracellular matrix within the tissues and enter into neighboring tissues.|
|Cell migration is important for proper immune responses, wound healing and tissue homeostasis.||An aberrant type of cell migration causes cancer metastasis.|
Summary – Cell Migration vs Invasion
The study of cell invasion and migration is important for a better understanding of underlying biological and molecular mechanisms that occur in organisms. Cell migration is the normal movement of cells from one place to the other in response to chemical signals. Migration is a fundamental process which helps diverse physiological and pathological processes, including embryonic development, cell differentiation, tissue regeneration, wound healing, responding for immune signals, cancer metastasis etc. Cell invasion is the process where cells enter into tissues and destroy the neighboring tissues, particularly with respect to cancer cells. This is the main difference between cell migration and invasion.
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2. Trepat, Xavier, Zaozao Chen, and Ken Jacobson. “Cell Migration.” Comprehensive Physiology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2017
3. Martin, Tracey A. “Cancer Invasion and Metastasis: Molecular and Cellular Perspective.” Madame Curie Bioscience Database [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 30 Mar. 2017
1. “In situ squamous cell carcinoma with early invasion Case 224” by Yale Rosen (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Four steps of cell migration”By Alexandre Saez – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia