Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1990;16(1):1-6. doi: 10.1002/cm.970160102.


Vinculin is clearly a key element in the transmembrane assemblages that link cells to each other or to the substrate. However, despite all the studies that have been done on the protein, we still do not know its function within these assemblages. The bulk of the biochemical and cell biological evidence suggests that, in some unknown way, its presence in the junctions may be involved in the stable association of actin with the membrane, yet vinculin by itself does not appear to interact with actin. In the future, identification of additional junctional molecules that interconnect actin and vinculin may resolve this dilemma. Alternatively, studies with vinculin that is phosphorylated or acylated may yield clues to its function. Perhaps the complexity of the protein composition of microfilament-containing junctions suggests that protein assemblages rather than individual proteins provide novel functions. As new proteins belonging to these junctions are discovered, it will be important to assess their interaction with already known components such as vinculin and to ask if the protein combination has a particular function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / analysis*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Vinculin


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Vinculin