A novel moesin-, ezrin-, radixin-like gene is a candidate for the neurofibromatosis 2 tumor suppressor.
ABSTRACT Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by the occurrence of bilateral vestibular schwannomas and other central nervous system tumors including multiple meningiomas. Genetic linkage studies and investigations of both sporadic and familial tumors suggest that NF2 is caused by inactivation of a tumor suppressor gene in chromosome 22q12. We have identified a candidate gene for the NF2 tumor suppressor that has suffered nonoverlapping deletions in DNA from two independent NF2 families and alterations in meningiomas from two unrelated NF2 patients. The candidate gene encodes a 587 amino acid protein with striking similarity to several members of a family of proteins proposed to link cytoskeletal components with proteins in the cell membrane. The NF2 gene may therefore constitute a novel class of tumor suppressor gene.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in the neurofibromatosis 2 tumor suppressor gene (NF2) encoding merlin (moesin-ezrin-radixin like-protein) induce tumors of the nervous system. Merlin localizes to the cell membrane where it links the actin cytoskeleton to membrane proteins. Cell proliferation is regulated by merlin in many cell types, but merlin's tumor suppressor function still remains unclear. Phosphorylation has been suggested to regulate merlin's activity. The C-terminal serine 518 is phosphorylated both by p21-activated kinases (PAKs) and protein kinase A (PKA). In this work, we identify a novel PKA phosphorylation site, serine 10, in the N terminus of merlin. We show that a non-phosphorylatable form of serine 10 (S10A) affects cellular morphology. Regulation of this site also influences actin cytoskeleton organization and dynamics in vivo, as merlin S10A reduces the amount of cellular F-actin and merlin S10D stabilizes F-actin filaments. By using a wound-healing assay and live cell imaging, we demonstrate that dephosphorylation of serine 10 leads to defects in migration, possibly through altered ability of the cells to form lamellipodia. This study suggests a role for merlin in mediating PKA-induced changes of the actin cytoskeleton.Oncogene 06/2008; 27(23):3233-43. DOI:10.1038/sj.onc.1210988 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations that inactivate either merlin (mer) or expanded (ex) result in increased cell growth and proliferation in Drosophila. Both Mer and Ex are members of the Band 4.1 protein superfamily, and, based on analyses of mer ex double mutants, they are proposed to function together in at least a partially redundant manner upstream of the Hippo (Hpo) and Warts (Wts) proteins to regulate cell growth and division. By individually analyzing ex and mer mutant phenotypes, we have found important qualitative and quantitative differences in the ways Mer and Ex function to regulate cell proliferation and cell survival. Though both mer and ex restrict cell and tissue growth, ex clones exhibit delayed cell cycle exit in the developing eye, while mer clones do not. Conversely, loss of mer substantially compromises normal developmental apoptosis in the pupal retina, while loss of ex has only mild effects. Finally, ex has a role in regulating Wingless protein levels in the eye that is not obviously shared by either mer or hpo. Taken together, our data suggest that Mer and Ex differentially regulate multiple downstream pathways.Developmental Biology 05/2007; 304(1):102-15. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.12.021 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The review is focused on the domain structure and function of protein 4.1, one of the proteins belonging to the membrane skeleton. The protein 4.1 of the red blood cells (4.1R) is a multifunctional protein that localizes to the membrane skeleton and stabilizes erythrocyte shape and membrane mechanical properties, such as deformability and stability, via lateral interactions with spectrin, actin, glycophorin C and protein p55. Protein 4.1 binding is modulated through the action of kinases and/or calmodulin-Ca2+. Non-erythroid cells express the 4.1R homologues: 4.1G (general type), 4.1B (brain type), and 4.1N (neuron type), and the whole group belongs to the protein 4.1 superfamily, which is characterized by the presence of a highly conserved FERM domain at the N-terminus of the molecule. Proteins 4.1R, 4.1G, 4.1N and 4.1B are encoded by different genes. Most of the 4.1 superfamily proteins also contain an actin-binding domain. To date, more than 40 members have been identified. They can be divided into five groups: protein 4.1 molecules, ERM proteins, talin-related molecules, protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPH) proteins and NBL4 proteins. We have focused our attention on the main, well known representatives of 4.1 superfamily and tried to choose the proteins which are close to 4.1R or which have distinct functions. 4.1 family proteins are not just linkers between the plasma membrane and membrane skeleton; they also play an important role in various processes. Some, such as focal adhesion kinase (FAK), non-receptor tyrosine kinase that localizes to focal adhesions in adherent cells, play the role in cell adhesion. The other members control or take part in tumor suppression, regulation of cell cycle progression, inhibition of cell proliferation, downstream signaling of the glutamate receptors, and establishment of cell polarity; some are also involved in cell proliferation, cell motility, and/or cell-to-cell communication.Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 02/2006; 44(4):231-48. · 1.00 Impact Factor