Intermediate filament scaffolds fulfill mechanical, organizational, and signaling functions in the cytoplasm

Seyun Kim, Pierre A. Coulombe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Intermediate filaments (IFs) are cytoskeletal polymers whose protein constituents are encoded by a large family of differentially expressed genes. Owing in part to their properties and intracellular organization, IFs provide crucial structural support in the cytoplasm and nucleus, the perturbation of which causes cell and tissue fragility and accounts for a large number of genetic diseases in humans. A number of additional roles, nonmechanical in nature, have been recently uncovered for IF proteins. These include the regulation of key signaling pathways that control cell survival, cell growth, and vectorial processes including protein targeting in polarized cellular settings. As this discovery process continues to unfold, a rationale for the large size of this family and the context-dependent regulation of its members is finally emerging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1581-1597
Number of pages17
JournalGenes and Development
Volume21
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

Keywords

  • Adhesion
  • Cell polarity
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Intracellular transport
  • Keratin
  • Vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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