The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural support and adhesive substrates for the body tissues. Recent advances in our understanding of the biology of matrix indicate that the ECM also plays a significant role in regulating the behavior of cells. Matrix proteins engender changes in cell shape and movement, bind growth factors, and facilitate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Matrix-induced differentiation results from multiple stimuli that include: tensile forces on the cell, cytokine- or growth factor-mediated stimulation, and interaction with bioactive domains of matrix glycoproteins. Because these signals are important determinants of cell behavior, pharmacological manipulation of cell-matrix interactions may offer a valuable new approach to disease treatment.
- Basement membrane
- Cell-matrix interactions
- Extracellular matrix
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health