The motility and dynamic properties of intermediate filaments and their constituent proteins

Ying Hao Chou, Frederick W. Flitney, Lynne Chang, Melissa Mendez, Boris Grin, Robert D. Goldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Intermediate filament (IF) proteins exist in multiple structural forms within cells including mature IF, short filaments or 'squiggles', and non-filamentous precursors called particles. These forms are interconvertible and their relative abundance is IF type, cell type- and cell cycle stage-dependent. These structures are often associated with molecular motors, such as kinesin and dynein, and are therefore capable of translocating through the cytoplasm along microtubules. The assembly of mature IF from their precursor particles is also coupled to translation. These dynamic properties of IF provide mechanisms for regulating their reorganization and assembly in response to the functional requirements of cells. The recent findings that IF and their precursors are frequently associated with signaling molecules have revealed new functions for IF beyond their more traditional roles as mechanical integrators of cells and tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2236-2243
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 10 2007


  • Intermediate filaments
  • Keratin
  • Molecular motors
  • Signal transduction
  • Vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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