Lecture12 - 02.14.11 Lecture 13 Intermediate filaments...

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02.14.11 Lecture 13 - Intermediate filaments
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Intermediate filaments Present in nearly all animals, but absent from plants and fungi Rope-like network of filaments in the cell Principle function is maintenance of cell structure - provide tensile strength to the cell
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Intermediate filaments share a common structure
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Intermediate filaments differ from actin & microtubules: I.F.s do not have a defined polarity (I.e. no plus or minus ends) I.F.s have no associated motor proteins I.F.s do not bind to nucleotides (ATP or GTP) I.F.s are very stable compared to actin or microtubules
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There are 4 classes of intermediate filament proteins
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Tissue-specific expression of I.F. proteins is useful for diagnostics Cancer cells - lose the characteristic shape of the parent tissue I.F. gene expression is often unaffected Identification of I.F. proteins in tumor biopsies using antibodies can pinpoint origin of tumors (I.e.
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