How does fascin promote cancer metastasis?

Shengchen Lin, Matthew D. Taylor, Pankaj K. Singh, Shengyu Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Fascin is an F-actin-bundling protein that cross-links individual actin filaments into straight and stiff bundles. Fascin overexpression in cancer is strongly associated with poor prognosis and metastatic progression across different cancer types. It is well established that fascin plays a causative role in promoting metastatic progression. We will review the recent progress in our understanding of mechanisms underlying fascin-mediated cancer metastasis. This review will cover the biochemical basis for fascin-bundling activity, the mechanisms by which cancer cells upregulate fascin expression and the mechanism underlying fascin-mediated cancer cell migration, invasion, and metastatic colonization. We propose that fascin has broad roles in both metastatic dissemination and metastatic colonization. Understanding these mechanisms will be crucial to the development of anti-metastasis therapeutics targeting fascin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1446
Number of pages13
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • actin-bundling
  • cancer metastasis
  • fascin
  • metastatic colonization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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