Roles of fascin in cell adhesion and motility

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Oct;16(5):590-6. doi: 10.1016/


Many cell interactions depend on the assembly of cell protrusions; these include cell attachment and migration in the extracellular matrix, cell-cell communication, and the ability of cells to sense their local environment. Cell protrusions are extensions of the plasma membrane that are supported internally by actin-based structures that impart mechanical stiffness. Fascin is a small, globular actin-bundling protein that has emerging roles in diverse forms of cell protrusions and in cytoplasmic actin bundles. The fascin-actin interaction is under complex regulation from the extracellular matrix, peptide factors and other actin-binding proteins. Recent developments advance our understanding of the multifaceted regulation of fascin and the roles of fascin-containing structures in cell adhesion, motility and invasion in the life of vertebrate organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / physiopathology
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology*
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Vertebrates / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • fascin