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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular dissection of zyxin function reveals its involvement in cell motility.

Spatially controlled actin filament assembly is critical for numerous processes, including the vectorial cell migration required for wound healing, cell- mediated immunity, and embryogenesis. One protein implicated in the regulation of actin assembly is zyxin, a protein concentrated at sites where the fast growing ends of actin filaments are enriched. To evaluate the role of zyxin in vivo, we developed a specific peptide inhibitor of zyxin function that blocks its interaction with alpha-actinin and displaces it from its normal subcellular location. Mislocalization of zyxin perturbs cell migration and spreading, and affects the behavior of the cell edge, a structure maintained by assembly of actin at sites proximal to the plasma membrane. These results support a role for zyxin in cell motility, and demonstrate that the correct positioning of zyxin within the cell is critical for its physiological function. Interestingly, the mislocalization of zyxin in the peptide-injected cells is accompanied by disturbances in the distribution of Ena/VASP family members, proteins that have a well-established role in promoting actin assembly. In concert with previous work, our findings suggest that zyxin promotes the spatially restricted assembly of protein complexes necessary for cell motility.[1]


  1. Molecular dissection of zyxin function reveals its involvement in cell motility. Drees, B.E., Andrews, K.M., Beckerle, M.C. J. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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