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Open AccessReview

The Extracellular Matrix: An Accomplice in Gastric Cancer Development and Progression

1
Epithelial Interactions in Cancer Group, i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
2
Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
3
Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
4
Medical Faculty, University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(2), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020394
Received: 15 January 2020 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 8 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cancers: Gastric Cancer)
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic and highly organized tissue structure, providing support and maintaining normal epithelial architecture. In the last decade, increasing evidence has emerged demonstrating that alterations in ECM composition and assembly strongly affect cellular function and behavior. Even though the detailed mechanisms underlying cell-ECM crosstalk are yet to unravel, it is well established that ECM deregulation accompanies the development of many pathological conditions, such as gastric cancer. Notably, gastric cancer remains a worldwide concern, representing the third most frequent cause of cancer-associated deaths. Despite increased surveillance protocols, patients are usually diagnosed at advanced disease stages, urging the identification of novel diagnostic biomarkers and efficient therapeutic strategies. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview regarding expression patterns of ECM components and cognate receptors described in normal gastric epithelium, pre-malignant lesions, and gastric carcinomas. Important insights are also discussed for the use of ECM-associated molecules as predictive biomarkers of the disease or as potential targets in gastric cancer.
Keywords: gastric cancer; extracellular matrix; integrin; cell-ECM interaction; ECM deregulation; ECM targeting; ECM biomarkers gastric cancer; extracellular matrix; integrin; cell-ECM interaction; ECM deregulation; ECM targeting; ECM biomarkers
MDPI and ACS Style

Moreira, A.M.; Pereira, J.; Melo, S.; Fernandes, M.S.; Carneiro, P.; Seruca, R.; Figueiredo, J. The Extracellular Matrix: An Accomplice in Gastric Cancer Development and Progression. Cells 2020, 9, 394.

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