Non-muscle myosin II takes centre stage in cell adhesion and migration

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Nov;10(11):778-90. doi: 10.1038/nrm2786.


Non-muscle myosin II (NM II) is an actin-binding protein that has actin cross-linking and contractile properties and is regulated by the phosphorylation of its light and heavy chains. The three mammalian NM II isoforms have both overlapping and unique properties. Owing to its position downstream of convergent signalling pathways, NM II is central in the control of cell adhesion, cell migration and tissue architecture. Recent insight into the role of NM II in these processes has been gained from loss-of-function and mutant approaches, methods that quantitatively measure actin and adhesion dynamics and the discovery of NM II mutations that cause monogenic diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Myosin Type II / metabolism*


  • Myosin Type II