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Fascin in Cell Migration: More Than an Actin Bundling Protein

Anatomy and Cell Biology Department, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
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Biology 2020, 9(11), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110403
Received: 23 October 2020 / Revised: 12 November 2020 / Accepted: 13 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reviews in Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics)
Cell migration is an essential biological process that regulates both development and diseases, such as cancer metastasis. Therefore, understanding the factors that promote cell migration is crucial. One of the factors known to regulate cell migration is the actin-binding protein, Fascin. Fascin is typically thought to promote cell migration through bundling actin to form migratory structures such as filopodia and invadapodia. However, Fascin has many other functions in the cell that may contribute to cell migration. How these novel functions promote cell migration and are regulated is still not well understood. Here, we review the structure of Fascin, the many functions of Fascin and how they may promote cell migration, how Fascin is regulated, and Fascin’s role in diseases such as cancer metastasis.
Fascin, an actin-binding protein, regulates many developmental migrations and contributes to cancer metastasis. Specifically, Fascin promotes cell motility, invasion, and adhesion by forming filopodia and invadopodia through its canonical actin bundling function. In addition to bundling actin, Fascin has non-canonical roles in the cell that are thought to promote cell migration. These non-canonical functions include regulating the activity of other actin-binding proteins, binding to and regulating microtubules, mediating mechanotransduction to the nucleus via interaction with the Linker of the Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC) Complex, and localizing to the nucleus to regulate nuclear actin, the nucleolus, and chromatin modifications. The many functions of Fascin must be coordinately regulated to control cell migration. While much remains to be learned about such mechanisms, Fascin is regulated by post-translational modifications, prostaglandin signaling, protein–protein interactions, and transcriptional means. Here, we review the structure of Fascin, the various functions of Fascin and how they contribute to cell migration, the mechanisms regulating Fascin, and how Fascin contributes to diseases, specifically cancer metastasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: fascin; migration; cancer metastasis; mechanotransduction; actin; microtubules; LINC Complex; nuclear actin; nucleolus; prostaglandins fascin; migration; cancer metastasis; mechanotransduction; actin; microtubules; LINC Complex; nuclear actin; nucleolus; prostaglandins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lamb, M.C.; Tootle, T.L. Fascin in Cell Migration: More Than an Actin Bundling Protein. Biology 2020, 9, 403.

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