The dynamic properties of cellular protein polymers such as microtubules and microfilaments depend to a large extent on the cell's capacity to modify rapidly the exchange rate between polymerized and unpolymerized pools of subunits. Until quite recently the dynamic nature of intermediate filaments was underestimated because of their biochemical stability in vitro and a paucity of studies on their characteristics in vivo. However, the recent studies described in this review show that the karyoskeletal and cytoskeletal structures that assemble from many intermediate filament proteins possess the properties expected of dynamic protein polymer networks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology