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Mammalian Plakins, Giant Cytolinkers: Versatile Biological Functions and Roles in Cancer

by Lifang Hu 1,2,3, Zizhan Huang 1,2,3, Zixiang Wu 1,2,3, Arshad Ali 1,2,3 and Airong Qian 1,2,3,*
1
Laboratory for Bone Metabolism, Key Laboratory for Space Biosciences and Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
2
Research Center for Special Medicine and Health Systems Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
3
NPU-UAB Joint Laboratory for Bone Metabolism, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040974
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Cancer is a highly lethal disease that is characterized by aberrant cell proliferation, migration, and adhesion, which are closely related to the dynamic changes of cytoskeletons and cytoskeletal-adhesion. These will further result in cell invasion and metastasis. Plakins are a family of giant cytolinkers that connect cytoskeletal elements with each other and to junctional complexes. With various isoforms composed of different domain structures, mammalian plakins are broadly expressed in numerous tissues. They play critical roles in many cellular processes, including cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, and signaling transduction. As these cellular processes are key steps in cancer development, mammalian plakins have in recent years attracted more and more attention for their potential roles in cancer. Current evidence shows the importance of mammalian plakins in various human cancers and demonstrates mammalian plakins as potential biomarkers for cancer. Here, we introduce the basic characteristics of mammalian plakins, review the recent advances in understanding their biological functions, and highlight their roles in human cancers, based on studies performed by us and others. This will provide researchers with a comprehensive understanding of mammalian plakins, new insights into the development of cancer, and novel targets for cancer diagnosis and therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: plakins; cytoskeleton; cell migration; cell proliferation; cell signaling transduction; cancer plakins; cytoskeleton; cell migration; cell proliferation; cell signaling transduction; cancer
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Hu, L.; Huang, Z.; Wu, Z.; Ali, A.; Qian, A. Mammalian Plakins, Giant Cytolinkers: Versatile Biological Functions and Roles in Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 974.

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