GSK-3ß is essential for physiological electric field-directed Golgi polarization and optimal electrotaxis

Lin Cao, Jin Pu* (Corresponding Author), Min Zhao* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Endogenous electrical fields (EFs) at corneal and skin wounds send a powerful signal that directs cell migration during wound healing. This signal therefore may serve as a fundamental regulator directing cell polarization and migration. Very little is known of the intracellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate EF-induced cell polarization and migration. Here, we report that Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells show robust directional polarization and migration in a physiological EF (0.3-1 V/cm) in both dissociated cell culture and monolayer culture. An EF of 0.6 V/cm completely abolished cell migration into wounds in monolayer culture. An EF of higher strength (=1 V/cm) is an overriding guidance cue for cell migration. Application of EF induced quick phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3ß (GSK-3ß) which reached a peak as early as 3 min in an EF. Inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) significantly reduced EF-induced directedness of cell migration initially (in 1-2 h). Inhibition of GSK-3ß completely abolished EF-induced GA polarization and significantly inhibited the directional cell migration, but at a later time (2-3 h in an EF). Those results suggest that GSK-3ß is essential for physiological EF-induced Golgi apparatus (GA) polarization and optimal electrotactic cell migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3081-3093
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number8
Early online date5 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • physiological electric field
  • cell polarization
  • Golgi polarization
  • directional cell migration
  • wound healing


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