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Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;14(6):294-302.

Small is beautiful: what flies tell us about ERM protein function in development.

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Centre de Biologie du Développement, UMR5547 CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, Bâtiment 4R3, 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France.


Actin dynamics is recognized as being a determinant in many developmental processes and pathologies, such as cell polarity, morphogenesis and tumour metastasis. However, how actin interacts with the plasma membrane is poorly understood. Although numerous studies in cell culture point to the crucial role of Ezrin, Radixin and Moesin (ERM) proteins in the actin-membrane link, genetic approaches in mice have not yet revealed their activity during development. Drosophila has recently become an alternative and promising system for the genetic study of ERM protein function. This article focuses on advances made in flies, providing evidence for the evolutionary conservation of functional properties of ERM proteins, in addition to shedding new light on their importance for development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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