Understanding ERM proteins--the awesome power of genetics finally brought to bear

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;19(1):51-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2006.12.004. Epub 2006 Dec 18.

Abstract

In epithelial cells, the Ezrin, Radixin and Moesin (ERM) proteins are involved in many cellular functions, including regulation of actin cytoskeleton, control of cell shape, adhesion and motility, and modulation of signaling pathways. However, discerning the specific cellular roles of ERMs has been complicated by redundancy between these proteins. Recent genetic studies in model organisms have identified unique roles for ERM proteins. These include the regulation of morphogenesis and maintenance of integrity of epithelial cells, stabilization of intercellular junctions, and regulation of the Rho small GTPase. These studies also suggest that ERMs have roles in actomyosin contractility and vesicular trafficking in the apical domain of epithelial cells. Thus, genetic analysis has enhanced our understanding of these widely expressed membrane-associated proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actomyosin / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / embryology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / embryology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Secretory Vesicles / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism

Substances

  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • ezrin
  • moesin
  • radixin
  • Actomyosin
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins