Document Type


Publication Date



Keratins are fibrous proteins that take part in several important cellular functions, including the formation of intermediate filaments. In addition, keratins serve as epithelial cell markers, which has made their role in cancer progression, diagnosis, and treatment an important focus of research. Keratin 1 (K1) is a type II keratin whose structure is comprised of a coiled-coil central domain flanked by flexible, glycine-rich loops in the N- and C-termini. While the structure of cytoplasmic K1 is established, the structure of cell-surface K1 is not known. Several transformed cells, such as cancerous cells and cells that have undergone oxidative stress, display increased levels of overall and/or cell-surface K1 expression. Cell-surface keratins (CSKs) may be modified or truncated, and their role is yet to be fully elucidated. Current studies suggest that CSKs are involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis and immune evasion. In this Review, we discuss findings relating to K1 structure, overexpression, and cell-surface expression in the context of utilizing CSK1 as a receptor for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells, and other strategies to develop novel treatments for cancer.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer`, volume 1877, issue 1, in 2022.

The Creative Commons license below applies only to this version of the article.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.