Merlin and the ERM proteins--regulators of receptor distribution and signaling at the cell cortex

Trends Cell Biol. 2009 May;19(5):198-206. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.02.006. Epub 2009 Apr 1.


Recent studies highlight the importance of the distribution of membrane receptors in controlling receptor output and in contributing to complex biological processes. The cortical cytoskeleton is known to affect membrane protein distribution but the molecular basis of this is largely unknown. Here, we discuss the functions of Merlin and the ERM proteins both in linking membrane proteins to the underlying cortical cytoskeleton and in controlling the distribution of and signaling from membrane receptors. We also propose a model that could account for the intricacies of Merlin function across model organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurofibromin 2 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • EPB41L4B protein, human
  • Neurofibromin 2