Invasive cell migration – a feature of both normal development and metastatic cancer – is regulated by numerous signalling pathways,transcription factors and cell-adhesion molecules, the coordination of which is poorly understood. Now, on p. 3493, Schober and colleagues report that the ETS transcription factor Yan is a key regulator of the stereotypic migration of border cells during Drosophilaoogenesis. The researchers show that Yan is dynamically expressed and regulated by the Notch, JAK/STAT and RTK signalling pathways in border cells during their migration, and that increased or decreased Yan activity delays their migration by affecting the turnover of the cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin. ETS transcription factors are often upregulated in invasive tumours, note the researchers, so these results provide important mechanistic insights not only into the control of developmental invasive cell migration but possibly also into pathological cell migration.