Members of the vertebrate ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) protein family crosslink the actin cytoskeleton and the cell membrane and are, therefore, considered cytoplasmic regulators of cell adhesion, cell movement and membrane trafficking. Here we demonstrate that besides its cytoplasmic functions Drosophila moesin, the only ERM protein in Drosophila melanogaster, exhibits a dynamic cell cycle-dependent nuclear localization. In a small fraction of cells and at a low level, moesin can be detected in interphase nuclei in regions complementary to the chromatin; its level rapidly increases during prophase and it co-localizes with the actin network surrounding the mitotic spindles throughout mitosis. We also found that the predicted single nuclear localization signal in moesin is not necessary for the nuclear accumulation of the protein. FRAP experiments confirmed this finding and further revealed that the mitotic localization of moesin is highly dynamic. Immuno-histochemical staining for moesin demonstrated the existence of spindle association in wild-type embryos. The biological relevance of this phenomenon is indicated by the mitotic phenotypes detected in S2 cells treated with moesin RNAi, and awaits future exploration.
- Mitotic spindle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology