Vimentin, an intermediate filament protein typically located in the cytoplasm of mesenchymal cells, can also be secreted as an extracellular protein. The organization of extracellular vimentin strongly determines its functions in physiological and pathological conditions, making it a promising target for future therapeutic interventions. The extracellular form of vimentin has been found to play a role in the interaction between host cells and pathogens. In this review, we first discuss the molecular biophysics of extracellular vimentin, including its structure, secretion, and adhesion properties. We then provide a general overview of the role of extracellular vimentin in mediating pathogen-host interactions, with a focus on its interactions with viruses and bacteria. We also discuss the implications of these findings for the development of new therapeutic strategies for combating infectious diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology