Furry (Fry) is a large protein that is evolutionarily conserved from yeast to human. Fry and its orthologues in invertebrates (termed Tao3p in budding yeast, Mor2p in fission yeast, Sax-2 in nematode and Fry in fruit fly) genetically and physically interact with nuclear Dbf2-related (NDR) kinases (termed Cbk1p in budding yeast, Orb6p in fission yeast, Sax-1 in nematode and Trc in fruitfly), and function as activators or scaffolds of these kinases. Fry-NDR kinase signals are implicated in the control of polarized cell growth and morphogenesis in yeast, neurite outgrowth in nematode, and epidermal morphogenesis and dendritic tiling in fruit fly. Recent studies revealed that mammalian Fry is a microtubule-associated protein that is involved in the control of chromosome alignment, spindle organization and Polo-like kinase-1 activation in mitosis, and promotes microtubule acetylation in mitotic spindles via inhibiting the tubulin deacetylase Sirtuin 2. Here, we review current knowledge about the diverse cellular functions and regulation of Fry proteins in invertebrates and vertebrates.
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