This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of the role filopodia and filopodia-like structures in cell adhesion and three dimensional (3D) cell migration both in vitro and in vivo. In particular, we focus on recent advances demonstrating that filopodia are involved in substrate tethering and environment sensing in vivo. We further discuss the emerging role of filopodia and filopodial proteins in tumor dissemination as mounting in vitro, in vivo and clinical evidence suggest that filopodia drive cancer cell invasion and highlight filopodia proteins as attractive therapeutic targets. Finally, we outline outstanding questions that remain to be addressed to elucidate the role of filopodia during 3D cell migration.
Guillaume Jacquemet, Hellyeh Hamidi & Johanna Ivaska