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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Jan;8(1):37-48.

The WASP-WAVE protein network: connecting the membrane to the cytoskeleton.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1, Shirokane-dai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan. takenawa@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp


Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and WASP-family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE) family proteins are scaffolds that link upstream signals to the activation of the ARP2/3 complex, leading to a burst of actin polymerization. ARP2/3-complex-mediated actin polymerization is crucial for the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton at the cell cortex for processes such as cell movement, vesicular trafficking and pathogen infection. Large families of membrane-binding proteins were recently found to interact with WASP and WAVE family proteins, therefore providing a new layer of membrane-dependent regulation of actin polymerization.

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