Gelsolin, an actin-depolymerizing protein expressed both in extracellular fluids and in the cytoplasm of a majority of human cells, has been recently implicated in a variety of both physiological and pathological processes. Its extracellular isoform, called plasma gelsolin (pGSN), is present in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, milk, urine, and other extracellular fluids. This isoform has been recognized as a potential biomarker of inflammatory-associated medical conditions, allowing for the prediction of illness severity, recovery, efficacy of treatment, and clinical outcome. A compelling number of animal studies also demonstrate a broad spectrum of beneficial effects mediated by gelsolin, suggesting therapeutic utility for extracellular recombinant gelsolin. In the review, we summarize the current data related to the potential of pGSN as an inflammatory predictor and therapeutic target, discuss gelsolin-mediated mechanisms of action, and highlight recent progress in the clinical use of pGSN.
Keywords: actin; biomarker; extracellular recombinant gelsolin; inflammation; plasma gelsolin.