ECM Regulation of Cell Behaviors: On the Outside Looking In

Mon, 06/24/2013 - 11:22

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a well-structured composite of collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and growth factors proficient of generating variable measures of tissue tensile potency, from mucosal linings to bones. ECM predominantly comprises the cellular milieu outside the circulation and is established as having a major regulatory effect on cell activity.  There has been a considerable amount of attention towards the disparate conditions in which ECM unambiguously sends or alters signals to the surrounding cells. Interactions with ECM influence virtually all features of necessary cellular functions which include proliferation, migration, along with that of protein and gene expression and cell delineation. Specific cell-matrix interactions are critical for the endurance of many cell types, and loss of this adhesion dependence is a classic hallmark of neoplastic change. ECM remodeling promotes tumor metastasis and ECM can be remodeled by proteolytic degradation as ECM is a direct target of proteases like MMPs, serine proteases and cysteine proteases. These proteases release intact or degraded fragments of ECM as soluble ligands and it is possible to detect degradation of ECM using antibodies of prognostic and diagnostic biomarker. Additionally it has been recently shown that increased proliferation and migration of perivascular stem cells could be observed upon exposure of the degraded ECM products as detected by surface markers CD44, CD90, CD105, and CD73 via flow cytometry (1). Novus Biologicals specializes in ECM reagents for your research needs and offers the latest range of antibodies with reactivity against various species.

1. PMID: 20653348

Blog Topics