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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 852430, 11 pages
Review Article

Annexin A2 at the Interface of Actin and Membrane Dynamics: A Focus on Its Roles in Endocytosis and Cell Polarization

1Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584CT Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Division of Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, 11-43 Bath Street, EC1V 9EL London, UK

Received 30 August 2011; Revised 16 November 2011; Accepted 13 December 2011

Academic Editor: Avri Ben-Ze'ev

Copyright © 2012 Adam G. Grieve et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Annexins are a family of calcium- and phospholipid-binding proteins found in nearly all eukaryotes. They are structurally highly conserved and have been implicated in a wide range of cellular activities. In this paper, we focus on Annexin A2 (AnxA2). Altered expression of this protein has been identified in a wide variety of cancers, has also been found on the HIV particle, and has been implicated in the maturation of the virus. Recently, it has also been shown to have an important role in the establishment of normal apical polarity in epithelial cells. We synthesize here the known biochemical properties of this protein and the extensive literature concerning its involvement in the endocytic pathway. We stress the importance of AnxA2 as a platform for actin remodeling in the vicinity of dynamic cellular membranes, in the hope that this may shed light on the normal functions of the protein and its contribution to disease.