Stem Cells and Development paper investigates the role of nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) in migration of Wharton’s Jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs).

Dr. Malancha Ta, faculty of Department of Biological Sciences, recently published an interesting piece of work with her team in the journal ‘Stem Cells and Development’ [Arora S, Saha S, Roy S, Das M, Jana S and Ta M. (2015) Role of Nonmuscle Myosin II in Migration of Wharton's Jelly-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Stem Cells Dev. Apr 29. (Epub ahead of print)]. In this paper, the authors attempted to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for migration of WJ-MSCs and showed for the first time that inhibition of NMII by pharmacological inhibitors resulted in significant reduction of migration. Further trying to dissect the role of individual NMII isoforms, they established that down regulation of NMIIA but not NMIIB expression led to cells failing to retract their trailing edge and losing cell-cell cohesiveness while exhibiting non-directional migratory pathway. And finally, using a PCR array, they also demonstrated that inhibition of NMII resulted in increased gene expression of extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion molecules which possibly led to stronger adhesions and hence, decreased migration of WJ-MSCs.