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Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 Apr;26(4):243-9.

Actin-based motility: stop and go with Ena/VASP proteins.

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Institut für Klinische Biochemie und Pathobiochemie, Klinikum der Universität Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 5, D-97078, Würzburg, Germany.


Proteins of the Ena/VASP (Enabled/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein) family are involved in Abl and/or cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinase signaling pathways. These proteins are also crucial factors in regulating actin dynamics and associated processes such as cell-cell adhesion, platelet function and actin-based motility of both cytopathogenic Listeria and their eukaryotic host cells. Although biochemical mechanisms have emerged depicting Ena/VASP proteins as enhancers of actin filament formation, increasing evidence also suggests that these proteins have inhibitory functions in integrin regulation, cell motility and axon guidance.

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