Special Issue "Extracellular Matrix Remodeling"
A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2018).
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Interests: collagen turnover; extracellular matrix remodeling; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; fibrosis; tendon biology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Special Issue in Cells: The Cytoskeleton: Structural, Functional, and Pathological Aspects
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is where cells live. It is composed of collagen and elastic fibers, glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, and by several glycoproteins. In most tissues, fibril-forming collagen type I is the major constituent of ECM.
The function of the ECM goes beyond providing mechanical support to cells and tissues. In fact, cells are embedded into ECM and interact with its components through their surface receptors, such as integrins, so cell-ECM interaction plays a key role in influencing different cell activities such as cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, the ECM sequesters and releases growth factors affecting important cellular pathways. Overall, the ECM strongly influences and affects cell behavior and tissue homeostasis.
Cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions are modulated by matricellular proteins, such as SPARC, tenascin and thrombospondin, characterized as non-structural extracellular modulators of cellular functions. Their activity is primarily related to their de-adhesive properties, but they are also able to interact with intracellular compartments.
ECM is a highly dynamic structural network that continuously undergoes controlled remodeling mediated by matrix-degrading enzymes, the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) under normal conditions.
Quantitative and qualitative deregulation of ECM remodeling and, especially, of collagen turnover, is responsible of the alteration of ECM composition and structure, associated with the development and progression of several pathologic conditions. For example, organ fibrosis is determined by the abnormal accumulation of ECM components, and an increased ECM remodeling is observed in tumor invasion.
The understanding of the diverse biological roles and properties of the ECM components will be helpful to develop new therapeutic tools for disease treatment.Prof. Nicoletta Gagliano
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- tumor invasion
- collagen turnover
- matrix metalloproteinases
- matricellular proteins
- cell-extracellular matrix interaction