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What is Vimentin?

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What is Vimentin?

There are three main kinds of cytoskeletal filaments: microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in Eukaryotic cells. Intermediate filaments help to provide structure to cells, and are involved in cell movement. Vimentin, is a 57kDa class III intermediate filament protein and often found in mesenchymal cells in eukaryotes, or cells that contain a distinct nucleus, and predominately expressed in developing embryo and in cells.

Vimentin intermediate filaments are generally present in mesenchymal cells. Vimentin is found not only in eukaryotic cells, but also in bacteria, where it helps to form the cytoskeleton. Vimentin is encoded by the VIM gene and has 466 amino acids. The VIM gene is highly conserved in vertebrates, The VIM gene is also involved in the immune response, and controls the transport of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-derived cholesterol from a lysosome to the site of esterification.

Function of Vimentin

Vimentin plays a significant role in holding the organelles in the cytosol, it has a flexible nature, allowing it to respond to mechanical stress. By interacting with other structural proteins, like microtubules, it makes the cell rigid and sturdy. Studies performed on cells without vimentin found that they were functional, but very easily damaged when exposed to pressure. It was found that cells without Vimentin are extremely delicate when disturbed with a micropuncture. Vimentin is attached to the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria, either laterally or terminally. As an organizer of a number of critical proteins, Vimentin is involved in attachment, migration, and cell signaling.

The primary function of Vimentin is to maintain cellular integrity, stabilize cytoskeleton interactions and provide resistance to avoid cell damage. Vimentin also has an important clinical significance as a tumor marker. All intermediate filament proteins are expressed in a highly developmentally-regulated fashion; Vimentin is the major cytoskeletal component of mesenchymal cells. Vimentin is widely expressed and highly conserved and is constitutively expressed in mesenchymal cells. Because of this, Vimentin is often used as a marker of mesenchymally-derived cells or cells undergoing an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during both normal development and metastatic progression. Vimentin IF proteins have been implicated in many aspects of cancer initiation and progression, including tumorigenesis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and the metastatic spread of cancer.

VIM antibodies are usually used as a marker in histopathological diagnosis, and often with keratin to distinguish epithelial and mesenchymal tumors, such as identification of malignant melanoma, lymphoma and thymoma; VIM antibodies and leukocyte common antigen are also used to distinguish lymphoma and other mesenchymal tumors. VIM antibodies and myogenic cell markers are often used to identifiy myogenic and fibrous tumors, etc.

Vimentin Products

Creative Diagnostics offer a wide range of Vimentin related products such as Vimentin proteins, antibodies, ELISA kits, hybridomas, engineered antibodies and cDNA products for use in common research applications, including ELISA, Flow Cytometry, Immunocytochemistry, Immunofluorescence, Immunohistochemistry, Immunoprecipitation, Intracellular Staining by Flow Cytometry, Peptide ELISA, Sandwich ELISA, Simple Western, Western Blot. To find more about the Vimentin antibodies, you can visit the Creative Diagnostics site.