The ERM (ezrin, radixin, and moesin) proteins belong to the band-4.1 superfamily of membrane-cytoskeleton-linking proteins which bind to the actin cytoskeleton via their C-terminal sequences and bind ERM binding membrane proteins (ERMBMPs). We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of two of the ERM proteins (ezrin and moesin) in developing human cerebral cortex and in cortical tubers from patients with tuberous sclerosis (TSC), to assess possible consequences of TSC gene product malfunction or inactivation in the developing brain in relation to ERM protein expression. Ezrin is abundantly expressed within radial glia and migrating cells in the intermediate zone in the prenatal human cerebrum, while moesin is primarily expressed in vascular endothelial cells in developing and adult human brain and scattered microglia in adult brain. In addition, both ezrin and moesin are abundantly co-expressed with hamartin and tuberin within a population of abnormal cells in TSC-associated cortical tubers. The expression of these two proteins--primarily ezrin--suggests that they are developmentally regulated and abundantly expressed in germinal matrix and/or migrating cells during cerebral cortical development. In TSC-associated cortical tubers, both proteins appeared to be up-regulated and are co-localized within a population of abnormal neuroglial cells typical of those seen in tubers. Expression of these proteins and their co-localization with tuberin and hamartin in these cells may suggest a compensatory up-regulation in response to TSC gene mutation.
Published In/Presented At
Johnson, M. W., Miyata, H., & Vinters, H. V. (2002). Ezrin and moesin expression within the developing human cerebrum and tuberous sclerosis-associated cortical tubers. Acta Neuropathologica, 104(2), 188-196.
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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pathology Laboratory Medicine Faculty