Hague et al. deleted Myh9 and Myh10, which encode heavy chains of the motor protein non-muscle myosin II, from the nephric duct and ureteric bud in mice. They observed that mid-gestation epithelia from these structures showed features of aberrant apicobasal integrity and that the ureteric bud had formed ectopically. These events were independent of RET signalling but dependent on ERK activity. As these mice displayed hydroureter and hydronephrosis at birth, the authors propose that their ureter and bladder are incorrectly connected.