A role for moesin in polarity

Trends Cell Biol. 2003 Apr;13(4):165-8. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(03)00029-1.


Three groups have recently characterized defects arising in development owing to mutations in the gene encoding Dmoesin, which is the sole ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) protein in Drosophila. Previously, studies in cultured mammalian cells suggested that ERM proteins are important for actin-membrane associations. However, mutations in moesin and radixin in mice do not cause severe defects, indicating functional overlap among vertebrate ERM paralogs. In Drosophila, however, mutations in Dmoesin result in lethality. Actin organization in imaginal disc epithelia is abnormal and apical-basal polarity is lost. When moesin function is reduced in the female germ-line, defects in cortical actin organization are also observed. Localization of informational molecules at the oocyte posterior is strongly affected, thus indicating a role for moesin in anchoring these determinants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Cell Polarity / genetics*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / deficiency*
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology*
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Oogenesis / genetics


  • Microfilament Proteins
  • moesin