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Vimentin protects differentiating stem cells from stress.

PMID: 33177544 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-76076-4 (read at publisher's website )
PMCID: PMC7658978 (free full text version available)

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Sundararaghavan Pattabiraman, Gajendra Kumar Azad, Triana Amen, Shlomi Brielle, Jung Eun Park, Siu Kwan Sze, Eran Meshorer, Daniel Kaganovich,

Vimentin is one of the first cytoplasmic intermediate filaments to be expressed in mammalian cells during embryogenesis, but its role in cellular fitness has long been a mystery. Vimentin is acknowledged to play a role in cell stiffness, cell motility, and cytoplasmic organization, yet it is widely considered to be dispensable for cellular function and organismal development. Here, we show that Vimentin plays a role in cellular stress response in differentiating cells, by recruiting aggregates, stress granules, and RNA-binding proteins, directing their elimination and asymmetric partitioning. In the absence of Vimentin, pluripotent embryonic stem cells fail to differentiate properly, with a pronounced deficiency in neuronal differentiation. Our results uncover a novel function for Vimentin, with important implications for development, tissue homeostasis, and in particular, stress response.

Sci Rep (Scientific reports)
[2020, 10(1):19525]

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