The alpha actinin (ACTN) family proteins are actin-binding proteins that regulate cytokinesis, cell adhesion, spreading, migration and signaling to control cell function. These findings highlight the physiological significance of the ACTN protein family. This review series provides evolutionary aspects and biochemical characteristics of ACTN proteins and features related clinical implications of basic research.
Dr Shi is a senior investigator and the Chief of Section on Molecular Morphogenesis, NICHD, NIH, and is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Cell & Bioscience in his personal capacity. Dr Shi received his BS degree from Wuhan University, China, in 1982 and his PhD degree from University of California, Berkeley, CA, in 1988. After postdoctoral training at the Carnegie Institution, he established his own research group at NICHD, NIH, in 1992. Dr Shi has been studying the molecular basis of thyroid hormone regulation of vertebrate development by using Xenopus metamorphosis as a model system. Dr Shi has published over 130 research papers and 50 reviews/book chapters, edited three books and written a monograph on amphibian metamorphosis.