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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jan;11(1):62-74. doi: 10.1038/nrm2816. Epub 2009 Dec 9.

Unleashing formins to remodel the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons.

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Rosenstiel Basic Medical Science Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA.


Formins are highly conserved proteins that have essential roles in remodelling the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons to influence eukaryotic cell shape and behaviour. Recent work has identified numerous cellular factors that locally recruit, activate or inactivate formins to bridle and unleash their potent effects on actin nucleation and elongation. The effects of formins on microtubules have also begun to be described, which places formins in a prime position to coordinate actin and microtubule dynamics. The emerging complexity in the mechanisms governing formins mirrors the wide range of essential functions that they perform in cell motility, cell division and cell and tissue morphogenesis.

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