Staining of intermediate filaments in human cell line MCF-7 (HPA002465)
Scale bar represents 10µm
Intermediate filaments have a twisted, rope-like structure that provides mechanical support to the cell. Cells that are subject to mechanical stress, such as hair and skin cells, contain a higher amount of intermediate filaments compared to other cell types. Additionally, intermediate filaments participate in the organisation of chromatin in the nucleus. The latter is achieved by anchoring the chromatin to the nuclear lamina that lines the inner part of the nuclear membrane and is composed of intermediate filaments.
Immunofluorescent staining of intermediate filaments can vary quite a lot between cell types. The filaments are usually at least partly located close to the nucleus, but may stretch throughout the whole cell. Common for most stainings is that the filaments exhibit a slightly tangled structure with strands crossing every so often.