Merlin: The wizard requires protein stability to function as a tumor suppressor

Academic Article


  • Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), characterized by tumors of the nervous system, is a result of functional loss of the NF2 gene. The NF2 gene encodes Merlin (moesin-ezrin-radixin-like protein), an ERM (Ezrin, Radixin, Moesin) protein family member. Merlin functions as a tumor suppressor through impacting mechanisms related to proliferation, apoptosis, survival, motility, adhesion, and invasion. Several studies have summarized the tumor intrinsic mutations in Merlin. Given the fact that tumor cells are not in isolation, but rather in an intricate, mutually sustaining synergy with their surrounding stroma, the dialog between the tumor cells and the stroma can potentially impact the molecular homeostasis and promote evolution of the malignant phenotype. This review summarizes the epigenetic modifications, transcript stability, and post-translational modifications that impact Merlin. We have reviewed the role of extrinsic factors originating from the tumor milieu that influence the availability of Merlin inside the cell. Information regarding Merlin regulation could lead to novel therapeutics by stabilizing Merlin protein in tumors that have reduced Merlin protein expression without displaying any NF2 genetic alterations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Morrow KA; Shevde LA
  • Start Page

  • 400
  • End Page

  • 406
  • Volume

  • 1826
  • Issue

  • 2