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Cells 2018, 7(10), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7100147

Vimentin Diversity in Health and Disease

1
Science for Life Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, 17165 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 84112 Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
3
Centro de Química da Madeira, Universidade da Madeira, 9020105 Funchal, Portugal
4
Campus D2 2, Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH (INM) and Experimental Physics, NT Faculty, E 2 6, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
5
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, 75237 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 16 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Cytoskeleton Research—From Development to Disease)
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Abstract

Vimentin is a protein that has been linked to a large variety of pathophysiological conditions, including cataracts, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and cancer. Vimentin has also been shown to regulate a wide spectrum of basic cellular functions. In cells, vimentin assembles into a network of filaments that spans the cytoplasm. It can also be found in smaller, non-filamentous forms that can localise both within cells and within the extracellular microenvironment. The vimentin structure can be altered by subunit exchange, cleavage into different sizes, re-annealing, post-translational modifications and interacting proteins. Together with the observation that different domains of vimentin might have evolved under different selection pressures that defined distinct biological functions for different parts of the protein, the many diverse variants of vimentin might be the cause of its functional diversity. A number of review articles have focussed on the biology and medical aspects of intermediate filament proteins without particular commitment to vimentin, and other reviews have focussed on intermediate filaments in an in vitro context. In contrast, the present review focusses almost exclusively on vimentin, and covers both ex vivo and in vivo data from tissue culture and from living organisms, including a summary of the many phenotypes of vimentin knockout animals. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the many diverse aspects of vimentin, from biochemical, mechanical, cellular, systems biology and medical perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: vimentin; intermediate filaments; cell‒extracellular matrix adhesions; extracellular vimentin; cell mechanical stiffness or elasticity; cellular contractility; biomechanics; epithelial‒mesenchymal transition; tissue regeneration; cancer and metastasis; drug target; clinical biomarkers vimentin; intermediate filaments; cell‒extracellular matrix adhesions; extracellular vimentin; cell mechanical stiffness or elasticity; cellular contractility; biomechanics; epithelial‒mesenchymal transition; tissue regeneration; cancer and metastasis; drug target; clinical biomarkers
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Danielsson, F.; Peterson, M.K.; Caldeira Araújo, H.; Lautenschläger, F.; Gad, A.K.B. Vimentin Diversity in Health and Disease. Cells 2018, 7, 147.

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