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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Nov;10(11):778-90. doi: 10.1038/nrm2786.

Non-muscle myosin II takes centre stage in cell adhesion and migration.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Non-muscle myosin II (NM II) is an actin-binding protein that has actin cross-linking and contractile properties and is regulated by the phosphorylation of its light and heavy chains. The three mammalian NM II isoforms have both overlapping and unique properties. Owing to its position downstream of convergent signalling pathways, NM II is central in the control of cell adhesion, cell migration and tissue architecture. Recent insight into the role of NM II in these processes has been gained from loss-of-function and mutant approaches, methods that quantitatively measure actin and adhesion dynamics and the discovery of NM II mutations that cause monogenic diseases.

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