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Genes Dev. 2005 Oct 1;19(19):2265-77.

Membrane organization and tumorigenesis--the NF2 tumor suppressor, Merlin.

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Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Cancer Research and Harvard Medical School, Department of Pathology, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


The NF2 tumor-suppressor gene was cloned more than a decade ago, but the function of its encoded protein, Merlin, remains elusive. Merlin, like the closely related ERM proteins, appears to provide regulated linkage between membrane-associated proteins and the actin cytoskeleton and is therefore poised to function in receiving and interpreting signals from the extracellular milieu. Recent studies suggest that Merlin may coordinate the processes of growth-factor receptor signaling and cell adhesion. Varying use of this organizing activity by different types of cells could provide an explanation for the unique spectrum of tumors associated with NF2 deficiency in mammals.

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