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J Pathol. 2011 Jul;224(3):289-300. doi: 10.1002/path.2894. Epub 2011 May 25.

The roles of fascins in health and disease.

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Department of Surgery, Shizuoka City Shizuoka Hospital, Shizuoka 420-8630, Japan.


Fascins are actin-binding proteins that cross-link filamentous actin into tightly packed parallel bundles. These bundles are important for the organization and morphology of an extremely diverse set of sub-cellular structures that include dynamic and stable cell-surface protrusions, stress fibres, and the specialized actin bundles of photoreceptor and stereocilia cells. In this review, we discuss the fascin gene family and its evolution, the actin-bundling activity of fascins and the molecular pathways by which it is regulated, and the role of the diverse actin/fascin structures in normal cellular processes. We discuss the mechanisms by which fascins contribute to disease pathologies, especially cancer, where fascin-1 is emerging as a novel therapeutic target in carcinoma metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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