Collagen VI at a glance

Matilde Cescon, Francesca Gattazzo, Peiwen Chen, Paolo Bonaldo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Collagen VI represents a remarkable extracellular matrix molecule, and in the past few years, studies of this molecule have revealed its involvement in a wide range of tissues and pathological conditions. In addition to its complex multi-step pathway of biosynthesis and assembly that leads to the formation of a characteristic and distinctive network of beaded microfilaments in the extracellular matrix, collagen VI exerts several key roles in different tissues. These range from unique biomechanical roles to cytoprotective functions in different cells, including myofibers, chondrocytes, neurons, fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes. Indeed, collagen VI has been shown to exert a surprisingly broad range of cytoprotective effects, which include counteracting apoptosis and oxidative damage, favoring tumor growth and progression, regulating autophagy and cell differentiation, and even contributing to the maintenance of stemness. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we present the current knowledge of collagen VI, and in particular, discuss its relevance in stemness and in preserving the mechanical properties of tissues, as well as its links with human disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3525-3531
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Collagen
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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