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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 365192, 6 pages
Review Article

The Possible Role of Mena Protein and Its Splicing-Derived Variants in Embryogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Tumor Invasion: A Systematic Review of the Literature

1Department of Pathology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu-Mures, 38 Ghe Marinescu Street, 540193 Targu Mures, Romania
2Department of Dermatology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu-Mures, 540193 Targu Mures, Romania
3Department of Public Health, University of Pecs, Medical School, Szigeti Street 12, Pecs 7624, Hungary

Received 7 April 2013; Revised 16 June 2013; Accepted 2 July 2013

Academic Editor: Claus-Peter Richter

Copyright © 2013 Simona Gurzu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Ena/VASP (enabled/vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein) family includes the binding actin proteins such as mammalian Ena (Mena), VASP, and Ena-VASP-like. It is known that the perturbation of actin cycle could determine alteration in the mobility of cells and in consequence of organogenesis. Few recent studies have revealed that Mena protein could play a role in breast or pancreatic carcinogenesis. Based on our researches, we observed that the intensity of Mena expression increased from premalignant to malignant lesions in some organs such as large bowel, stomach, cervix, and salivary glands. These findings prove that Mena could be a marker of premalignant epithelial lesions. In premalignant lesions, it could be helpful to define more accurately the risk for malignant transformation. In malignant tumors, correlation of expression of its splice variants could indicate metastatic behavior. In conclusion, we consider that it is necessary to analyze the expression of Mena splice variants in a higher number of cases, in different epithelial lesions, and also in experimental studies to define its exact role in carcinogenesis and also its possible prognostic and predictive values.