Emerging role for ERM proteins in cell adhesion and migration

Cell Adh Migr. 2011 Mar-Apr;5(2):199-206. doi: 10.4161/cam.5.2.15081. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


The highly related ERM (Ezrin, Radixin, Moesin) proteins provide a regulated linkage between the membrane and the underlying actin cytoskeleton. They also provide a platform for the transmission of signals in responses to extracellular cues. Studies in different model organisms and in cultured cells have highlighted the importance of ERM proteins in the generation and maintenance of specific domains of the plasma membrane. A central question is how do ERM proteins coordinate actin filament organization and membrane protein transport/stability with signal transduction pathways to build up complex structures? Through their interaction with numerous partners including membrane proteins, actin cytoskeleton and signaling molecules, ERM proteins have the ability to organize multiprotein complexes in specific cellular compartments. Likewise, ERM proteins participate in diverse functions including cell morphogenesis, endocytosis/exocytosis, adhesion and migration. This review focuses on aspects still poorly understood related to the function of ERM proteins in epithelial cell adhesion and migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Signal Transduction


  • Actins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • ezrin
  • moesin
  • radixin