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Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Nov;15(11):608-17. Epub 2005 Oct 3.

Cellular integrity plus: organelle-related and protein-targeting functions of intermediate filaments.

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  • 1Palo Alto VA Medical Center, 3801 Miranda Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.

Abstract

Intermediate filament proteins (IFs) maintain cell and tissue integrity, based on evidence of their polymerization and mechanical properties, abundance and disease-associated phenotypes. This 'traditional' function is now augmented by organelle-related and protein-targeting roles. Mitochondrial location and function depend on intact IFs, as demonstrated for desmin, keratins and neurofilaments. Golgi positioning is regulated by several IFs, and endosomal/lysosomal protein distribution by vimentin. IFs dramatically affect nuclear function and shape and play a role in subcellular and membrane targeting of proteins. These functions have been noted in tissues but in some cases only in cell culture. The IF-related organelle-specific and protein-targeting roles, which are likely interrelated, provide functions beyond cell scaffolding and integrity and contribute to the cytoprotective and tissue-specific functions of IF proteins.

PMID:
16202602
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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