Vimentin is a cytoskeletal protein important for many cellular processes, including proliferation, migration, invasion, stress resistance, signaling, and many more. The vimentin-deficient mouse has revealed many of these functions as it has numerous severe phenotypes, many of which are found only following a suitable challenge or stress. While these functions are usually related to vimentin as a major intracellular protein, vimentin is also emerging as an extracellular protein, exposed at the cell surface in an oligomeric form or secreted to the extracellular environment in soluble and vesicle-bound forms. Thus, this review explores the roles of the extracellular pool of vimentin (eVIM), identified in both normal and pathological states. It focuses specifically on the recent advances regarding the role of eVIM in wound healing and cancer. Finally, it discusses new technologies and future perspectives for the clinical application of eVIM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology