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Identification and characterisation of Xenopus moesin, a Src substrate in Xenopus laevis oocytes

  • Judith M. Thorn (a1), Norris A. Armstrong (a2), Leigh A. Cantrell (a1) and Brian K. Kay (a1) (a3)


The cortical actin cytoskeleton, consisting of actin filaments and actin binding proteins, immediately underlies the inner surface of the plasma membrane and is important both structurally and in relaying signals from the surface to the interior of the cell. Signal transduction processes, initiated in the cortex, modulate numerous cellular changes ranging from modifications of the local cytoskeleton structure, the position in the cell cycle, to cell behaviour. To examine the molecular mechanisms and events associated with cortical changes. We have investigated targets of the protein tyrosine kinase, Src, which is associated with the cortical cytoskeleton, in Xenopus laevis oocytes. When a mRNA encoding an activated form of Src tyrosine kinase (d-Src) is injected into oocytes several changes are observed: proteins are phosphorylated, the rate at which progesterone matures an oocyte to an egg is accelerated, and the cortex at the site of injection appears to contract. Previous studies have implicated actin filaments in the Src-stimulated cortical rearrangements. In this study we identify two actin binding proteins – cortactin and moesin – as Src substrates in Xenopus oocytes that are Src substrates. We cloned and characterised the cDNA encoding one of those, Xenopus moesin, a member of the ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) family of actin binding proteins. In addition, we have determined that moesin is recruited to the cortex at the site of Src mRNA injection.


Corresponding author

NIEHS, PO Box 12233, Mail Drop F3-04, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA. Telephone: +1 (919) 541 7867. Fax: +1 (919) 541 7560. e-mail:



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