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Review

Molecular Interactions Driving Intermediate Filament Assembly

1
Laboratory for Biocrystallography, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2
Department of Biochemistry, Charles University, 12800 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic
4
Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Pavel Hozák, Elly Hol and Roy Andrew Quinlan
Cells 2021, 10(9), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10092457
Received: 2 July 2021 / Revised: 31 August 2021 / Accepted: 3 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organization and Function of Cellular Structural Networks)
Given the role of intermediate filaments (IFs) in normal cell physiology and scores of IF-linked diseases, the importance of understanding their molecular structure is beyond doubt. Research into the IF structure was initiated more than 30 years ago, and some important advances have been made. Using crystallography and other methods, the central coiled-coil domain of the elementary dimer and also the structural basis of the soluble tetramer formation have been studied to atomic precision. However, the molecular interactions driving later stages of the filament assembly are still not fully understood. For cytoplasmic IFs, much of the currently available insight is due to chemical cross-linking experiments that date back to the 1990s. This technique has since been radically improved, and several groups have utilized it recently to obtain data on lamin filament assembly. Here, we will summarize these findings and reflect on the remaining open questions and challenges of IF structure. We argue that, in addition to X-ray crystallography, chemical cross-linking and cryoelectron microscopy are the techniques that should enable major new advances in the field in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: X-ray crystallography; assembly; chemical analytical cross-linking; intermediate filament; keratin; vimentin; lamin; cryoelectron microscopy X-ray crystallography; assembly; chemical analytical cross-linking; intermediate filament; keratin; vimentin; lamin; cryoelectron microscopy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vermeire, P.-J.; Stalmans, G.; Lilina, A.V.; Fiala, J.; Novak, P.; Herrmann, H.; Strelkov, S.V. Molecular Interactions Driving Intermediate Filament Assembly. Cells 2021, 10, 2457. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10092457

AMA Style

Vermeire P-J, Stalmans G, Lilina AV, Fiala J, Novak P, Herrmann H, Strelkov SV. Molecular Interactions Driving Intermediate Filament Assembly. Cells. 2021; 10(9):2457. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10092457

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vermeire, Pieter-Jan, Giel Stalmans, Anastasia V. Lilina, Jan Fiala, Petr Novak, Harald Herrmann, and Sergei V. Strelkov 2021. "Molecular Interactions Driving Intermediate Filament Assembly" Cells 10, no. 9: 2457. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10092457

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