Transgelins, cytoskeletal proteins implicated in different aspects of cancer development

Expert Rev Proteomics. 2014 Apr;11(2):149-65. doi: 10.1586/14789450.2014.860358. Epub 2014 Jan 29.


Transgelin is an abundant protein of smooth muscle cells, where its role has been primarily studied. As a protein affecting dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton via stabilization of actin filaments, transgelin is both directly and indirectly involved in many cancer-related processes such as migration, proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis. Transgelin was previously reviewed as a tumor suppressor; however, recent data based on a number of proteomics studies indicate its pro-tumorigenic role, for example, in colorectal or hepatocellular cancer. We summarize these contradictory observations in both clinical and functional proteomics projects and analyze the role of transgelin in tumors in detail. Generally, the expression and biological role of transgelin seem to differ among various types of tumor cells and stroma, and possibly change during tumor progression. We also overview the recent data on transgelin-2, a sequence homolog of transgelin, whose role in the tumor development might be contradictory to the role of transgelin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cell Movement
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Proteomics
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Actins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Tagln2 protein, human
  • transgelin