Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 429–444

Implications of intermediate filament protein phosphorylation

  • Nam-On Ku
  • Jian Liao
  • Chih-Fong Chou
  • M. Bishr Omary


Intermediate filament (IF) proteins, a large family of tissue specific proteins, undergo several posttranslational modifications, with phosphorylation being the most studied modification. IF protein phosphorylation is highly dynamic and involves the head and/or tail domains of these proteins, which are the domains that impart most of the structural heterogeneity and hence presumed tissue specific functions. Although the function of IF proteins remains poorly understood, several regulatory roles for IF protein phosphorylation have been identified or are emerging. Those roles include filament disassembly and reorganization, solubility, localization within specific cellular domains, association with other cytoplasmic or membrane associated proteins, protection against physiologic stress and mediation of tissue-specific functions. Understanding the mechanistic and functional aspects of IF protein phosphorylation is providing insights not only regarding the function of this modification, but also regarding the function of IF proteins.

Key words

intermediate filaments keratins phosphorylation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nam-On Ku
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian Liao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chih-Fong Chou
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Bishr Omary
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.VA Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo Alto
  2. 2.Digestive Disease CenterStanford University School of MedicineStanford
  3. 3.Institute of Molecular and Cell BiologyNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Palo Alto VA Medical CenterPalo AltoUSA

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