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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2003;19:541-64.

Ena/VASP proteins: regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration.

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Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Ena/VASP proteins are a conserved family of actin regulatory proteins made up of EVH1, EVH2 domains, and a proline-rich central region. They have been implicated in actin-based processes such as fibroblast migration, axon guidance, and T cell polarization and are important for the actin-based motility of the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Mechanistically, these proteins associate with barbed ends of actin filaments and antagonize filament capping by capping protein (CapZ). In addition, they reduce the density of Arp2/3-dependent actin filament branches and bind Profilin at sites of actin polymerization. Vertebrate Ena/VASP proteins are substrates for PKA/PKG serine/threonine kinases. Phosphorylation by these kinases appears to modulate Ena/VASP function within cells, although the mechanism underlying this regulation remains to be determined.

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