The role of Vimentin intermediate filaments in the progression of lung cancer

Martha E. Kidd, Dale K. Shumaker, Karen M. Ridge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


There is an accumulation of evidence in the literature demonstrating the integral role of vimentin intermediate filaments (IFs) in the progression of lung cancers. Vimentin IF proteins have been implicated in many aspects of cancer initiation and progression, including tumorigenesis, epithelial-to- mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the metastatic spread of cancer. Specifically, vimentin Ifs have been recognized as an essential component regulating EMT, major signal transduction pathways involved in EMT and tumor progression, cell migration and invasion, the positioning and anchorage of organelles, such as mitochondria, and cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesion. In tumorgenesis vimentin forms a complex with 14-3-3 and beclin 1 to inhibit autophagy via an AKT-dependent mechanism. Vimentin is a canonical marker of EMT, and recent evidence has shown it to be an important regulator of cellular motility. Transcriptional regulation of vimentin through hypoxia-inducible factor-1 may be a potential driver of EMT. Finally, vimentin regulates 14-3-3 complexes and controls various intracellular signaling and cell cycle control pathways by depleting the availability of free 14-3-3. There are many exciting advances in our understanding of the complex role of vimentin IFs in cancer, pointing to the key role vimentin IFs may play in tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Invadopodia
  • Lung cancer
  • Metastatic cascade
  • Vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of Vimentin intermediate filaments in the progression of lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this