Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(1):32-49. doi:10.7150/ijbs.52375 This issue


βII spectrin (SPTBN1): biological function and clinical potential in cancer and other diseases

Panyu Yang1#, Yanyan Yang2#, Pin Sun1, Yu Tian1, Fang Gao4, Chen Wang4, Tingyu Zong1, Min Li3, Ying Zhang1, Tao Yu1,3✉, Zhirong Jiang1✉

1. Department of Cardiac Ultrasound, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao 266000, China.
2. Department of Immunology, Basic Medicine School, Qingdao University, No. 308 Ningxia Road, Qingdao 266071, People's Republic of China.
3. Institute for Translational Medicine, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, No. 38 Dengzhou Road, Qingdao 266021, People's Republic of China.
4. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabiliation, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.
#These authors are equally to this paper.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Yang P, Yang Y, Sun P, Tian Y, Gao F, Wang C, Zong T, Li M, Zhang Y, Yu T, Jiang Z. βII spectrin (SPTBN1): biological function and clinical potential in cancer and other diseases. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(1):32-49. doi:10.7150/ijbs.52375. Available from

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Graphic abstract

βII spectrin, the most common isoform of non-erythrocyte spectrin, is a cytoskeleton protein present in all nucleated cells. Interestingly, βII spectrin is essential for the development of various organs such as nerve, epithelium, inner ear, liver and heart. The functions of βII spectrin include not only establishing and maintaining the cell structure but also regulating a variety of cellular functions, such as cell apoptosis, cell adhesion, cell spreading and cell cycle regulation. Notably, βII spectrin dysfunction is associated with embryonic lethality and the DNA damage response. More recently, the detection of altered βII spectrin expression in tumors indicated that βII spectrin might be involved in the development and progression of cancer. Its mutations and disorders could result in developmental disabilities and various diseases. The versatile roles of βII spectrin in disease have been examined in an increasing number of studies; nonetheless, the exact mechanisms of βII spectrin are still poorly understood. Thus, we summarize the structural features and biological roles of βII spectrin and discuss its molecular mechanisms and functions in development, homeostasis, regeneration and differentiation. This review highlight the potential effects of βII spectrin dysfunction in cancer and other diseases, outstanding questions for the future investigation of therapeutic targets. The investigation of the regulatory mechanism of βII spectrin signal inactivation and recovery may bring hope for future therapy of related diseases.

Keywords: βII Spectrin, proliferation, cancers, heart, development, TGF-β