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Mol Biol Cell. 2006 Dec;17(12):5275-86. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Enlazin, a natural fusion of two classes of canonical cytoskeletal proteins, contributes to cytokinesis dynamics.

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Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Cytokinesis requires a complex network of equatorial and global proteins to regulate cell shape changes. Here, using interaction genetics, we report the first characterization of a novel protein, enlazin. Enlazin is a natural fusion of two canonical classes of actin-associated proteins, the ezrin-radixin-moesin family and fimbrin, and it is localized to actin-rich structures. A fragment of enlazin, enl-tr, was isolated as a genetic suppressor of the cytokinesis defect of cortexillin-I mutants. Expression of enl-tr disrupts expression of endogenous enlazin, indicating that enl-tr functions as a dominant-negative lesion. Enlazin is distributed globally during cytokinesis and is required for cortical tension and cell adhesion. Consistent with a role in cell mechanics, inhibition of enlazin in a cortexillin-I background restores cytokinesis furrowing dynamics and suppresses the growth-in-suspension defect. However, as expected for a role in cell adhesion, inhibiting enlazin in a myosin-II background induces a synthetic cytokinesis phenotype, frequently arresting furrow ingression at the dumbbell shape and/or causing recession of the furrow. Thus, enlazin has roles in cell mechanics and adhesion, and these roles seem to be differentially significant for cytokinesis, depending on the genetic background.

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