This review summarizes the emerging roles of NHERF1/EBP50 adaptor protein in tumorigenesis. NHERF1/EBP50 (Na+/H+ exchanger regulating factor 1; ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) binding phosphoprotein of 50 kDa) is a PDZ domain-containing protein with physiological localization at the plasma membrane. We discuss in this review the functions of NHERF1/EBP50 as a linker between membrane proteins and the cytoskeleton network, as well as its involvement in different types of cancer, such as breast and liver cancers. Recent evidence obtained from our laboratory and from other groups shows that NHERF1/EBP50 is an important player in cancer progression. It appears that, depending on its subcellular distribution, NHERF1/EBP50 may behave either as a tumor suppressor, when it is localized at the plasma membrane, or as an oncogenic protein, when it is shifted to the cytoplasm. We provide here an overview of the mechanisms by which this adaptor protein controls cell transformation, and propose a model suggesting a dual role of NHERF1/EBP50 in cancer.
Keywords: NHERF1/EBP50, tumorigenesis, membrane proteins, cytoskeleton, liver cancers, cancer progression, oncogenic protein
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