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Trends Cell Biol. 2011 Jan;21(1):29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Oct 15.

The Nebulin family: an actin support group.

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Department of Cell Biology, and Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.


Nebulin, a giant, actin-binding protein, is the largest member of a family of proteins (including N-RAP, nebulette, lasp-1 and lasp-2) that are assembled in a variety of cytoskeletal structures, and expressed in different tissues. For decades, nebulin has been thought to act as a molecular ruler, specifying the precise length of actin filaments in skeletal muscle. However, emerging evidence suggests that nebulin should not be viewed as a ruler but as an actin filament stabilizer required for length maintenance. Nebulin has also been implicated recently in an array of regulatory functions independent of its role in actin filament length regulation. In this review, we discuss the current evolutionary, biochemical, and functional data for the nebulin family of proteins - a family whose members, both large and small, function as cytoskeletal scaffolds and stabilizers.

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