Roles of flotillins in tumors

J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2018;19(3):171-182. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1700102.


The identification and use of molecular biomarkers have greatly improved the diagnosis and treatment of malignant tumors. However, a much deeper understanding of oncogenic proteins is needed for the benefit to cancer patients. The lipid raft marker proteins, flotillin-1 and flotillin-2, were first found in goldfish retinal ganglion cells during axon regeneration. They have since been found in a variety of cells, mainly on the inner surface of cell membranes, and not only act as a skeleton to provide a platform for protein-protein interactions, but also are involved in signal transduction, nerve regeneration, endocytosis, and lymphocyte activation. Previous studies have shown that flotillins are closely associated with tumor development, invasion, and metastasis. In this article, we review the functions of flotillins in relevant cell processes, their underlying mechanisms of action in a variety of tumors, and their potential applications to tumor molecular diagnosis and targeted therapy.

Keywords: Flotillins; Tumor; Lipid raft protein; Signal transduction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Endocytosis
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Nerve Regeneration*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • flotillins