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Cell Adh Migr. 2011 Mar-Apr;5(2):199-206. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Emerging role for ERM proteins in cell adhesion and migration.

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UMR 144, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Morphogenèse et Signalisation Cellulaires, Institut Curie, Paris, France.


The highly related ERM (Ezrin, Radixin, Moesin) proteins provide a regulated linkage between the membrane and the underlying actin cytoskeleton. They also provide a platform for the transmission of signals in responses to extracellular cues. Studies in different model organisms and in cultured cells have highlighted the importance of ERM proteins in the generation and maintenance of specific domains of the plasma membrane. A central question is how do ERM proteins coordinate actin filament organization and membrane protein transport/stability with signal transduction pathways to build up complex structures? Through their interaction with numerous partners including membrane proteins, actin cytoskeleton and signaling molecules, ERM proteins have the ability to organize multiprotein complexes in specific cellular compartments. Likewise, ERM proteins participate in diverse functions including cell morphogenesis, endocytosis/exocytosis, adhesion and migration. This review focuses on aspects still poorly understood related to the function of ERM proteins in epithelial cell adhesion and migration.

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