Mechanics of vimentin intermediate filaments

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Abstract

It is increasingly evident that the cytoskeleton of living cells plays important roles in mechanical and biological functions of the cells. Here we focus on the contribution of intermediate filaments (IFs) to the mechanical behaviors of living cells. Vimentin, a major structural component of IFs in many cell types, is shown to play an important role in vital mechanical and biological functions such as cell contractility, migration, stiffness, stiffening, and proliferation.