Formins (formin homology proteins) are a group of proteins that are involved in the polymerization of actin and associate with the fast-growing end (barbed end) of actin filaments. Most formins are Rho-GTPase effector proteins. Formins regulate the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton and are involved in various cellular functions such as cell polarity, cytokinesis, cell migration and SRF transcriptional activity. Formins are multidomain proteins that interact with diverse signallingmolecules and cytoskeletal proteins, although some formins have been assigned functions within the nucleus. Formins are characterised by the presence of three FH domains (FH1, FH2 and FH3), although members of the formin family do not necessarily contain all three domains.
Formins also directly bind to microtubules via their FH2 domain. This interaction is important in promoting the capture and stabilization of a subset of microtubules oriented towards the leading edge of migrating cells. Formins also promote the capture of microtubules by the kinetochore during mitosis and for aligning microtubules along actin filaments.
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