The ezrin protein family: membrane-cytoskeleton interactions and disease associations

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1997 Oct;9(5):659-66. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(97)80119-6.


Ezrin, radixin, moesin and merlin form a subfamily of conserved proteins in the band 4.1 superfamily. Ezrin protein subfamily members act as linkers between the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton. Members of the subfamily have been shown to interact with each other, with cell adhesion molecules such as CD44 and with F-actin. Recent data indicate that intercellular adhesion molecules 1 and 2 also interact with ezrin. The proteins are also involved in the redistribution of intercellular adhesion molecules and the organization of cell membrane structures. Merlin is a tumor suppressor that is involved in tumorigenesis of schwannomas and meningiomas. Merlin has the same overall protein structure as the other proteins in the subfamily but may have partially distinct functions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microfilament Proteins*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • ezrin
  • moesin
  • radixin