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Extracellular Matrix as a Regulator of Epidermal Stem Cell Fate

Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119334, Russia
Department of Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Translational Medicine, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow 117997, Russia
Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1003;
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research of Epidermal Stem Cells 2017)
Epidermal stem cells reside within the specific anatomic location, called niche, which is a microenvironment that interacts with stem cells to regulate their fate. Regulation of many important processes, including maintenance of stem cell quiescence, self-renewal, and homeostasis, as well as the regulation of division and differentiation, are common functions of the stem cell niche. As it was shown in multiple studies, extracellular matrix (ECM) contributes a lot to stem cell niches in various tissues, including that of skin. In epidermis, ECM is represented, primarily, by a highly specialized ECM structure, basement membrane (BM), which separates the epidermal and dermal compartments. Epidermal stem cells contact with BM, but when they lose the contact and migrate to the overlying layers, they undergo terminal differentiation. When considering all of these factors, ECM is of fundamental importance in regulating epidermal stem cells maintenance, proper mobilization, and differentiation. Here, we summarize the remarkable progress that has recently been made in the research of ECM role in regulating epidermal stem cell fate, paying special attention to the hair follicle stem cell niche. We show that the destruction of ECM components impairs epidermal stem cell morphogenesis and homeostasis. A deep understanding of ECM molecular structure as well as the development of in vitro system for stem cell maintaining by ECM proteins may bring us to developing new approaches for regenerative medicine. View Full-Text
Keywords: extracellular matrix; epidermal stem cells; epidermal stem cell niche; keratinocytes; hair follicle; bulge extracellular matrix; epidermal stem cells; epidermal stem cell niche; keratinocytes; hair follicle; bulge
MDPI and ACS Style

Chermnykh, E.; Kalabusheva, E.; Vorotelyak, E. Extracellular Matrix as a Regulator of Epidermal Stem Cell Fate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1003.

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