Vimentin is the most common member of intermediate filament (IF) family and one of the main components in cytoskeleton structure. It is essential in the role of cell integrity and cytoskeletal stability. The reorganization of vimentin, similar to all IF proteins, occurs during different stages of the cell cycle and cell signaling by a site-specific phosphorylation (serine and threonine residues).
Vimentin is expressed in a wide variety of mesenchymal cell types: fibroblasts, endothelial cells etc., and in a number of other cell types derived from mesoderm, e.g., mesothelium and ovarian granulosa cells. However, in non-vascular smooth muscle cells, vimentin is often replaced by desmin. In striated muscle, vimetin is also replaced by desmin. However, during regeneration, vimentin is reexpressed. Cells of the lymfo-haemopoietic system (lymphocytes, macrophages etc.) also express vimentin, sometimes in scarce amounts. In tumor tissues, it is present in many different neoplasms but is particulary expressed in those originated from mesenchymal cells.
In combination with a panel of antibodies, it is used to identify tumor with mesenchymal origin and malignant melanoma. Additionally, vimentin is a useful control marker for proper tissue processing.
Synthetic peptide corresponding to Vimentin residues within aa366‐466 of Vimentin was used as an immunogen.
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