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Commun Integr Biol. 2012 Jul 1;5(4):340-4. doi: 10.4161/cib.20214.

mDia1-3 in mammalian filopodia.

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Institute of Medical Biology; Singapore; Immunos, Singapore.


mDia proteins are members of the formin family of actin nucleating proteins that polymerize linear actin filaments. Such filaments form the core of thin, tubular, membrane-bound cell surface protrusions known as filopodia, which are a major feature of mammalian cell morphology. Filopodia are dynamic structures that help cells sense environmental cues, and play a role in cell migration, axon guidance, angiogenesis and other processes. RhoGTPases bind to and control the activity of mDia proteins, and several other binding partners of the three mDia1 isoforms-mDia1, mDia2 and mDia3-have been documented. Two independent pathways controlling mammalian filopodium formation have emerged, with one driven by the RhoGTPase Cdc42, and the other by Rif. While mDia2 has been the main formin implicated in forming filopodia, mDia1 has recently surfaced as the key formin utilized by both the Cdc42 and Rif pathways to drive filopodial protrusion.


Rho GTPases; actin; cell morphology; filopodia; formins; mDia

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