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Special Issue "Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 49741

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Julia Thom Oxford
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725, USA
Interests: rare diseases; zebrafish development; vertebrate skeletal development; protein structure-function; cardiovascular extracellular matrix; cancer progression; extracellular matrix; minor fibrillar collagens
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Frank Zaucke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Orthopedics (Friedrichsheim), Medical Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
Interests: extracellular matrix proteins; collagens; cartilage; bone; skeletal development; mouse models; chondrodysplasias; osteoarthritis; chondrogenesis; chondrocyte differentiation; skin homeostasis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is a continuation of our previous Special Issue “Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease” (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/special_issues/extracellular_matrix).

Extracellular matrix in development and disease 2.0. This Special Issue will deal with molecular and cellular aspects of the role of extracellular matrix in development and disease. Cells exist in three-dimensional scaffolding called the extracellular matrix. The matrix holds together the millions of cells that make up our blood vessels, organs, skin, and all tissues of the body. The matrix serves as a reservoir of signaling molecules as well. In bacterial cultures, biofilms form as an extracellular matrix and play essential roles in disease and drug resistance. Topics such as matrix structure and function, cell attachment and cell surface proteins mediating cell-matrix interactions; synthesis, regulation, composition, structure, assembly, remodeling, and function of the matrix are included.

A common thread uniting the topics is the essential nature that the matrix plays in normal development and pathophysiology. Providing new knowledge will lead us to improved diagnostics, preventions to disease progression, and therapeutic strategies for repair and regeneration of tissues.

Prof. Dr. Julia Thom Oxford
Prof. Dr. Frank Zaucke
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • extracellular matrix
  • collagen
  • biofilm
  • embryonic development
  • degenerative disease
  • fibrosis
  • tissue engineering

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Published Papers (25 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Matrix Biology: Building Research Infrastructure, Supporting Young Researchers, and Fostering Collaboration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062141 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Matrix Biology strives to improve our understanding of extracellular matrix at molecular, cellular, tissue, and organismal levels to generate new knowledge about pathophysiology, normal development, and regenerative medicine. The primary goals of the Center are to [...] Read more.
The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Matrix Biology strives to improve our understanding of extracellular matrix at molecular, cellular, tissue, and organismal levels to generate new knowledge about pathophysiology, normal development, and regenerative medicine. The primary goals of the Center are to i) support junior investigators, ii) enhance the productivity of established scientists, iii) facilitate collaboration between both junior and established researchers, and iv) build biomedical research infrastructure that will support research relevant to cell–matrix interactions in disease progression, tissue repair and regeneration, and v) provide access to instrumentation and technical support. A Pilot Project program provides funding to investigators who propose applying their expertise to matrix biology questions. Support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health that established the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Matrix Biology has significantly enhanced the infrastructure and the capabilities of researchers at Boise State University, leading to new approaches that address disease diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. New multidisciplinary collaborations have been formed with investigators who may not have previously considered how their biomedical research programs addressed fundamental and applied questions involving the extracellular matrix. Collaborations with the broader matrix biology community are encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Research

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Article
Expression of EMT-Related Genes in Hybrid E/M Colorectal Cancer Cells Determines Fibroblast Activation and Collagen Remodeling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218119 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1359
Abstract
Collagen, the main non-cellular component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), is profoundly reorganized during tumorigenesis and has a strong impact on tumor behavior. The main source of collagen in tumors is cancer-associated fibroblasts. Cancer cells can also participate in the synthesis of ECM; [...] Read more.
Collagen, the main non-cellular component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), is profoundly reorganized during tumorigenesis and has a strong impact on tumor behavior. The main source of collagen in tumors is cancer-associated fibroblasts. Cancer cells can also participate in the synthesis of ECM; however, the contribution of both types of cells to collagen rearrangements during the tumor progression is far from being clear. Here, we investigated the processes of collagen biosynthesis and remodeling in parallel with the transcriptome changes during cancer cells and fibroblasts interactions. Combining immunofluorescence, RNA sequencing, and second harmonic generation microscopy, we have explored the relationships between the ratio of epithelial (E) and mesenchymal (M) components of hybrid E/M cancer cells, their ability to activate fibroblasts, and the contributions of both cell types to collagen remodeling. To this end, we studied (i) co-cultures of colorectal cancer cells and normal fibroblasts in a collagen matrix, (ii) patient-derived cancer-associated fibroblasts, and (iii) mouse xenograft models. We found that the activation of normal fibroblasts that form dense collagen networks consisting of large, highly oriented fibers depends on the difference in E/M ratio in the cancer cells. The more-epithelial cells activate the fibroblasts more strongly, which correlates with a dense and highly ordered collagen structure in tumors in vivo. The more-mesenchymal cells activate the fibroblasts to a lesser degree; on the other hand, this cell line has a higher innate collagen remodeling capacity. Normal fibroblasts activated by cancer cells contribute to the organization of the extracellular matrix in a way that is favorable for migratory potency. At the same time, in co-culture with epithelial cancer cells, the contribution of fibroblasts to the reorganization of ECM is more pronounced. Therefore, one can expect that targeting the ability of epithelial cancer cells to activate normal fibroblasts may provide a new anticancer therapeutic strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
N-Acetyl Cysteine Modulates the Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Responses of Rescued Growth-Arrested Dental Pulp Microtissues Exposed to TEGDMA in ECM
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197318 - 03 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Dental pulp is exposed to resin monomers leaching from capping materials. Toxic doses of the monomer, triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA), impact cell growth, enhance inflammatory and oxidative stress responses, and lead to tissue necrosis. A therapeutic agent is required to rescue growth-arrested tissues by [...] Read more.
Dental pulp is exposed to resin monomers leaching from capping materials. Toxic doses of the monomer, triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA), impact cell growth, enhance inflammatory and oxidative stress responses, and lead to tissue necrosis. A therapeutic agent is required to rescue growth-arrested tissues by continuing their development and modulating the exacerbated responses. The functionality of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) as a treatment was assessed by employing a 3D dental pulp microtissue platform. Immortalized and primary microtissues developed and matured in the extracellular matrix (ECM). TEGDMA was introduced at various concentrations. NAC was administered simultaneously with TEGDMA, before or after monomer addition during the development and after the maturation stages of the microtissue. Spatial growth was validated by confocal microscopy and image processing. Levels of inflammatory (COX2, NLRP3, IL-8) and oxidative stress (GSH, Nrf2) markers were quantified by immunoassays. NAC treatments, in parallel with TEGDMA challenge or post-challenge, resumed the growth of the underdeveloped microtissues and protected mature microtissues from deterioration. Growth recovery correlated with the alleviation of both responses by decreasing significantly the intracellular and extracellular levels of the markers. Our 3D/ECM-based dental pulp platform is an efficient tool for drug rescue screening. NAC supports compromised microtissues development, and immunomodulates and maintains the oxidative balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Remodeling the Skeletal Muscle Extracellular Matrix in Older Age—Effects of Acute Exercise Stimuli on Gene Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7089; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197089 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
With advancing age, the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) undergoes fibrotic changes that may lead to increased muscle stiffness, injury susceptibility and strength loss. This study tested the potential of different exercises to counter these changes by stimulating the activity of genes associated [...] Read more.
With advancing age, the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) undergoes fibrotic changes that may lead to increased muscle stiffness, injury susceptibility and strength loss. This study tested the potential of different exercises to counter these changes by stimulating the activity of genes associated with ECM remodeling. Twenty-six healthy men (66.9 ± 3.9 years) were stratified to two of four groups, performing unilateral (i) conventional resistance exercise, (ii) conventional resistance exercise followed by self-myofascial release (CEBR), (iii) eccentric-only exercise (ECC) or (iv) plyometric jumps (PLY). The non-trained leg served as control. Six hours post-exercise, vastus lateralis muscle biopsy samples were analyzed for the expression of genes associated with ECM collagen synthesis (COL1A1), matrix metallopeptidases (collagen degradation; MMPs) and peptidase inhibitors (TIMP1). Significant between-group differences were found for MMP3, MMP15 and TIMP1, with the greatest responses in MMP3 and TIMP1 seen in CEBR and in MMP15 in ECC. MMP9 (3.24–3.81-fold change) and COL1A1 (1.47–2.40-fold change) were increased in CEBR and PLY, although between-group differences were non-significant. The expression of ECM-related genes is exercise-specific, with CEBR and PLY triggering either earlier or stronger remodeling than other stimuli. Training studies will test whether execution of such exercises may help counter age-associated muscle fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Impaired ECM Remodeling and Macrophage Activity Define Necrosis and Regeneration Following Damage in Aged Skeletal Muscle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134575 - 27 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2136
Abstract
Regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle declines with age, the cause of which remains largely unknown. We investigated extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and their regulators during early regeneration timepoints to define a link between aberrant ECM remodeling, and impaired aged muscle regeneration. The regeneration [...] Read more.
Regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle declines with age, the cause of which remains largely unknown. We investigated extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and their regulators during early regeneration timepoints to define a link between aberrant ECM remodeling, and impaired aged muscle regeneration. The regeneration process was compared in young (three month old) and aged (18 month old) C56BL/6J mice at 3, 5, and 7 days following cardiotoxin-induced damage to the tibialis anterior muscle. Immunohistochemical analyses were performed to assess regenerative capacity, ECM remodeling, and the macrophage response in relation to plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and ECM protein expression. The regeneration process was impaired in aged muscle. Greater intracellular and extramyocellular PAI-1 expression was found in aged muscle. Collagen I was found to accumulate in necrotic regions, while macrophage infiltration was delayed in regenerating regions of aged muscle. Young muscle expressed higher levels of MMP-9 early in the regeneration process that primarily colocalized with macrophages, but this expression was reduced in aged muscle. Our results indicate that ECM remodeling is impaired at early time points following muscle damage, likely a result of elevated expression of the major inhibitor of ECM breakdown, PAI-1, and consequent suppression of the macrophage, MMP-9, and myogenic responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Cartilage Trauma Induces Necroptotic Chondrocyte Death and Expulsion of Cellular Contents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124204 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Necroptotic cell death is characterized by an activation of RIPK3 and MLKL that leads to plasma membrane permeabilization and the release of immunostimulatory cellular contents. High levels of chondrocyte death occur following intra-articular trauma, which frequently leads to post-traumatic osteoarthritis development. The aim [...] Read more.
Necroptotic cell death is characterized by an activation of RIPK3 and MLKL that leads to plasma membrane permeabilization and the release of immunostimulatory cellular contents. High levels of chondrocyte death occur following intra-articular trauma, which frequently leads to post-traumatic osteoarthritis development. The aim of this study is to assess necroptosis levels in cartilage post-trauma and to examine whether chondrocyte necroptotic mechanisms may be investigated and modified in vitro. Fractured human and murine cartilage, analysed immunohistochemically for necroptosis marker expression, demonstrated significantly higher levels of RIPK3 and phospho-MLKL than uninjured controls. Primary murine chondrocytes stimulated in vitro with the TNFα and AKT-inhibitor alongside the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk exhibited a significant loss of metabolic activity and viability, accompanied by an increase in MLKL phosphorylation, which was rescued by further treatment of chondrocytes with necrostatin-1. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated morphological features of necroptosis in chondrocytes following TNFα and Z-VAD-fmk treatment. Release of dsDNA from necroptotic chondrocytes was found to be significantly increased compared to controls. This study demonstrates that cartilage trauma leads to a high prevalence of necroptotic chondrocyte death, which can be induced and inhibited in vitro, indicating that both necroptosis and its consequential release of immunostimulatory cellular contents are potential therapeutic targets in post-traumatic arthritis treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Ablation of the miRNA Cluster 24 Has Profound Effects on Extracellular Matrix Protein Abundance in Cartilage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 4112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21114112 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate cartilage differentiation and contribute to the onset and progression of joint degeneration. These small RNA molecules may affect extracellular matrix organization (ECM) in cartilage, but for only a few miRNAs has this role been defined in vivo. Previously, we [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate cartilage differentiation and contribute to the onset and progression of joint degeneration. These small RNA molecules may affect extracellular matrix organization (ECM) in cartilage, but for only a few miRNAs has this role been defined in vivo. Previously, we showed that cartilage-specific genetic ablation of the Mirc24 cluster in mice leads to impaired cartilage development due to increased RAF/MEK/ERK pathway activation. Here, we studied the expression of the cluster in cartilage by LacZ reporter gene assays and determined its role for extracellular matrix homeostasis by proteome and immunoblot analysis. The cluster is expressed in prehypertrophic/hypertrophic chondrocytes of the growth plate and we now show that the cluster is also highly expressed in articular cartilage. Cartilage-specific loss of the cluster leads to increased proteoglycan 4 and matrix metallopeptidase 13 levels and decreased aggrecan and collagen X levels in epiphyseal cartilage. Interestingly, these changes are linked to a decrease in SRY-related HMG box-containing (SOX) transcription factors 6 and 9, which regulate ECM production in chondrocytes. Our data suggests that the Mirc24 cluster is important for ECM homoeostasis and the expression of transcriptional regulators of matrix production in cartilage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Extracellular Matrix Analysis of Human Renal Arteries in Both Quiescent and Active Vascular State
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3905; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113905 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
In vascular tissue engineering strategies, the addition of vascular-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components may better mimic the in vivo microenvironment and potentially enhance cell–matrix interactions and subsequent tissue growth. For this purpose, the exact composition of the human vascular ECM first needs to [...] Read more.
In vascular tissue engineering strategies, the addition of vascular-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components may better mimic the in vivo microenvironment and potentially enhance cell–matrix interactions and subsequent tissue growth. For this purpose, the exact composition of the human vascular ECM first needs to be fully characterized. Most research has focused on characterizing ECM components in mature vascular tissue; however, the developing fetal ECM matches the active environment required in vascular tissue engineering more closely. Consequently, we characterized the ECM protein composition of active (fetal) and quiescent (mature) renal arteries using a proteome analysis of decellularized tissue. The obtained human fetal renal artery ECM proteome dataset contains higher levels of 15 ECM proteins versus the mature renal artery ECM proteome, whereas 16 ECM proteins showed higher levels in the mature tissue compared to fetal. Elastic ECM proteins EMILIN1 and FBN1 are significantly enriched in fetal renal arteries and are mainly produced by cells of mesenchymal origin. We functionally tested the role of EMILIN1 and FBN1 by anchoring the ECM secreted by vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) to glass coverslips. This ECM layer was depleted from either EMILIN1 or FBN1 by using siRNA targeting of the SMCs. Cultured endothelial cells (ECs) on this modified ECM layer showed alterations on the transcriptome level of multiple pathways, especially the Rho GTPase controlled pathways. However, no significant alterations in adhesion, migration or proliferation were observed when ECs were cultured on EMILIN1- or FNB1-deficient ECM. To conclude, the proteome analysis identified unique ECM proteins involved in the embryonic development of renal arteries. Alterations in transcriptome levels of ECs cultured on EMILIN1- or FBN1-deficient ECM showed that these candidate proteins could affect the endothelial (regenerative) response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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The Significance of MicroRNAs Expression in Regulation of Extracellular Matrix and Other Drug Resistant Genes in Drug Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072619 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1497
Abstract
Ovarian cancer rates the highest mortality among all gynecological malignancies. The main reason for high mortality is the development of drug resistance. It can be related to increased expression of drug transporters and increased expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Our foremost aim [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer rates the highest mortality among all gynecological malignancies. The main reason for high mortality is the development of drug resistance. It can be related to increased expression of drug transporters and increased expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Our foremost aim was to exhibit alterations in the miRNA expression levels in cisplatin (CIS), paclitaxel (PAC), doxorubicin (DOX), and topotecan (TOP)—resistant variants of the W1 sensitive ovarian cancer cell line—using miRNA microarray. The second goal was to identify miRNAs responsible for the regulation of drug-resistant genes. According to our observation, alterations in the expression of 40 miRNAs were present. We could observe that, in at least one drug-resistant cell line, the expression of 21 miRNAs was upregulated and that of 19 miRNAs was downregulated. We identified target genes for 22 miRNAs. Target analysis showed that miRNA regulates key genes responsible for drug resistance. Among others, we observed regulation of the ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 1 gene (ABCB1) in the paclitaxel-resistant cell line by miR-363 and regulation of the collagen type III alpha 1 chain gene (COL3A1) in the topotekan-resistant cell line by miR-29a. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Versican G1 Fragment Establishes a Strongly Stabilized Interaction with Hyaluronan-Rich Expanding Matrix during Oocyte Maturation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072267 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
In the mammalian ovary, the hyaluronan (HA)-rich cumulus extracellular matrix (ECM) organized during the gonadotropin-induced process of oocyte maturation is essential for ovulation of the oocyte-cumulus complex (OCC) and fertilization. Versican is an HA-binding proteoglycan that regulates cell function and ECM assembly. Versican [...] Read more.
In the mammalian ovary, the hyaluronan (HA)-rich cumulus extracellular matrix (ECM) organized during the gonadotropin-induced process of oocyte maturation is essential for ovulation of the oocyte-cumulus complex (OCC) and fertilization. Versican is an HA-binding proteoglycan that regulates cell function and ECM assembly. Versican cleavage and function remain to be determined in ovarian follicle. We investigated versican expression in porcine ovarian follicles by real-time (RT)-PCR and western blotting. The aims of the present work were to determine whether 1) versican was produced and cleaved by porcine OCCs during gonadotropin stimulation; 2) these processes were autonomous or required the participation of mural granulosa cells (MGCs); and 3) versican cleavage was involved in the formation or degradation of expanded cumulus ECM. We demonstrate two cleavage products of G1 domain of versican (V1) accumulated in the HA-rich cumulus ECM. One of them, a G1-DPEAAE N-terminal fragment (VG1) of ~70 kDa, was generated from V1 during organization of HA in in vivo and in vitro expanded porcine OCCs. Second, the V1-cleaved DPEAAE-positive form of ~65 kDa was the only species detected in MGCs. No versican cleavage products were detected in OCCs cultured without follicular fluid. In summary, porcine OCCs are autonomous in producing and cleaving V1; the cleaved fragment of ~70 kDa VG1 is specific for formation of the expanded cumulus HA-rich ECM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Gene Expression Profiling of the Extracellular Matrix Signature in Macrophages of Different Activation Status: Relevance for Skin Wound Healing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205086 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2487
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural support for tissue architecture and is a major effector of cell behavior during skin repair and inflammation. Macrophages are involved in all stages of skin repair but only limited knowledge exists about macrophage-specific expression and regulation of [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural support for tissue architecture and is a major effector of cell behavior during skin repair and inflammation. Macrophages are involved in all stages of skin repair but only limited knowledge exists about macrophage-specific expression and regulation of ECM components. In this study, we used transcriptome profiling and bioinformatic analysis to define the unique expression of ECM-associated genes in cultured macrophages. Characterization of the matrisome revealed that most genes were constitutively expressed and that several genes were uniquely regulated upon interferon gamma (IFNγ) and dexamethasone stimulation. Among those core matrisome and matrisome-associated components transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-induced, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), elastin microfibril interfacer (EMILIN)-1, netrin-1 and gliomedin were also present within the wound bed at time points that are characterized by profound macrophage infiltration. Hence, macrophages are a source of ECM components in vitro as well as during skin wound healing, and identification of these matrisome components is a first step to understand the role and therapeutic value of ECM components in macrophages and during wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Hypoxia Induced Heparan Sulfate Primes the Extracellular Matrix for Endothelial Cell Recruitment by Facilitating VEGF-Fibronectin Interactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205065 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1687
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) is critical for the development, growth, and survival of blood vessels. Retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells are a major source of VEGF in the retina, with evidence that the extracellular matrix (ECM)-binding forms are particularly important. VEGF associates [...] Read more.
Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) is critical for the development, growth, and survival of blood vessels. Retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells are a major source of VEGF in the retina, with evidence that the extracellular matrix (ECM)-binding forms are particularly important. VEGF associates with fibronectin in the ECM to mediate distinct signals in endothelial cells that are required for full angiogenic activity. Hypoxia stimulates VEGF expression and angiogenesis; however, little is known about whether hypoxia also affects VEGF deposition within the ECM. Therefore, we investigated the role of hypoxia in modulating VEGF-ECM interactions using a primary retinal cell culture model. We found that retinal endothelial cell attachment to RPE cell layers was enhanced in cells maintained under hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, we found that agents that disrupt VEGF-fibronectin interactions inhibited endothelial cell attachment to RPE cells. We also found that hypoxia induced a general change in the chemical structure of the HS produced by the RPE cells, which correlated to changes in the deposition of VEGF in the ECM, and we further identified preferential binding of VEGFR2 over VEGFR1 to VEGF laden-fibronectin matrices. Collectively, these results indicate that hypoxia-induced HS may prime fibronectin for VEGF deposition and endothelial cell recruitment by promoting VEGF-VEGFR2 interactions as a potential means to control angiogenesis in the retina and other tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Type XVIII Collagen Modulates Keratohyalin Granule Formation and Keratinization in Oral Mucosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194739 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
Epithelial keratinization involves complex cellular modifications that provide protection against pathogens and chemical and mechanical injuries. In the oral cavity, keratinized mucosa is also crucial to maintain healthy periodontal or peri-implant tissues. In this study, we investigated the roles of type XVIII collagen, [...] Read more.
Epithelial keratinization involves complex cellular modifications that provide protection against pathogens and chemical and mechanical injuries. In the oral cavity, keratinized mucosa is also crucial to maintain healthy periodontal or peri-implant tissues. In this study, we investigated the roles of type XVIII collagen, a collagen-glycosaminoglycan featuring an extracellular matrix component present in the basement membrane, in oral mucosal keratinization. Histological analysis of keratinized and non-keratinized oral mucosa showed that type XVIII collagen was highly expressed in keratinized mucosa. Additionally, a 3D culture system using human squamous carcinoma cells (TR146) was used to evaluate and correlate the changes in the expression of type XVIII collagen gene, COL18A1, and epithelial keratinization-related markers, e.g., keratin 1 (KRT1) and 10 (KRT10). The results showed that the increase in COL18A1 expression followed the increase in KRT1 and KRT10 mRNA levels. Additionally, loss-of-function analyses using silencing RNA targeting COL18A1 mRNA and a Col18-knockout (KO) mouse revealed that the absence of type XVIII collagen induces a dramatic decrease in KRT10 expression as well as in the number and size of keratohyalin granules. Together, the results of this study demonstrate the importance of type XVIII collagen in oral mucosal keratinization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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The Role of Extracellular Matrix Expression, ERK1/2 Signaling and Cell Cohesiveness for Cartilage Yield from iPSCs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(17), 4295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174295 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Current therapies involving chondrocytes or mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) remain inefficient in restoring cartilage properties upon injury. The induced pluripotent stem-cell (iPSC)-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells (iMPCs) have been put forward as a promising alternative cell source due to their high proliferation and differentiation [...] Read more.
Current therapies involving chondrocytes or mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) remain inefficient in restoring cartilage properties upon injury. The induced pluripotent stem-cell (iPSC)-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells (iMPCs) have been put forward as a promising alternative cell source due to their high proliferation and differentiation potential. However, the observed cell loss during in vitro chondrogenesis is currently a bottleneck in establishing articular chondrocyte generation from iPSCs. In a search for candidate mechanisms underlying the low iPSC-derived cartilage tissue yield, global transcriptomes were compared between iMPCs and MSCs and the cell properties were analyzed via a condensation assay. The iMPCs had a more juvenile mesenchymal gene signature than MSCs with less myofibroblast-like characteristics, including significantly lower ECM- and integrin-ligand-related as well as lower α-smooth-muscle-actin expression. This correlated with less substrate and more cell-cell adhesion, impaired aggregate formation and consequently inferior cohesive tissue properties of the iMPC-pellets. Along lower expression of pro-survival ECM molecules, like decorin, collagen VI, lumican and laminin, the iMPC populations had significantly less active ERK1/2 compared to MSCs. Overall, this study proposes that this ECM and integrin-ligand shortage, together with insufficient pro-survival ERK1/2-activity, explains the loss of a non-aggregating iMPC sub-fraction during pellet formation and reduced survival of cells in early pellets. Enhancing ECM production and related signaling in iMPCs may be a promising new means to enrich the instructive microenvironment with pro-survival cues allowing to improve the final cartilage tissue yield from iPSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Article
Expression of Osteoblast-Specific Factor 2 (OSF-2, Periostin) Is Associated with Drug Resistance in Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20163927 - 13 Aug 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
One of the main obstacles to the effective treatment of ovarian cancer patients continues to be the drug resistance of cancer cells. Osteoblast-Specific Factor 2 (OSF-2, Periostin) is a secreted extracellular matrix protein (ECM) expressed in fibroblasts during bone and teeth development. Expression [...] Read more.
One of the main obstacles to the effective treatment of ovarian cancer patients continues to be the drug resistance of cancer cells. Osteoblast-Specific Factor 2 (OSF-2, Periostin) is a secreted extracellular matrix protein (ECM) expressed in fibroblasts during bone and teeth development. Expression of OSF-2 has been also related to the progression and drug resistance of different tumors. The present study investigated the role of OSF-2 by evaluating its expression in the primary serous ovarian cancer cell line, sensitive (W1) and resistant to doxorubicin (DOX) (W1DR) and methotrexate (MTX) (W1MR). The OSF-2 transcript (real-time PCR analysis), protein expression in cell lysates and cell culture medium (western blot), and expression of the OSF-2 protein in cell lines (immunofluorescence) were investigated in this study. Increased expression of OSF-2 mRNA was observed in drug-resistant cells and followed by increased protein expression in cell culture media of drug-resistant cell lines. A subpopulation of ALDH1A1-positive cells was noted for W1DR and W1MR cell lines; however, no direct co-expression with OSF-2 was demonstrated. Both drugs induced OSF-2 expression after a short period of exposure of the drug-sensitive cell line to DOX and MTX. The obtained results indicate that OSF-2 expression might be associated with the development of DOX and MTX resistance in the primary serous W1 ovarian cancer cell line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Cardiac ECM: Its Epigenetic Regulation and Role in Heart Development and Repair
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228610 - 15 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1154
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the non-cellular component in the cardiac microenvironment, and serves essential structural and regulatory roles in establishing and maintaining tissue architecture and cellular function. The patterns of molecular and biochemical ECM alterations in developing and adult hearts depend on [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the non-cellular component in the cardiac microenvironment, and serves essential structural and regulatory roles in establishing and maintaining tissue architecture and cellular function. The patterns of molecular and biochemical ECM alterations in developing and adult hearts depend on the underlying injury type. In addition to exploring how the ECM regulates heart structure and function in heart development and repair, this review conducts an inclusive discussion of recent developments in the role, function, and epigenetic guidelines of the ECM. Moreover, it contributes to the development of new therapeutics for cardiovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
PAI-1, the Plasminogen System, and Skeletal Muscle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197066 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1812
Abstract
The plasminogen system is a critical proteolytic system responsible for the remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The master regulator of the plasminogen system, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), has been implicated for its role in exacerbating various disease states not only through the [...] Read more.
The plasminogen system is a critical proteolytic system responsible for the remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The master regulator of the plasminogen system, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), has been implicated for its role in exacerbating various disease states not only through the accumulation of ECM (i.e., fibrosis) but also its role in altering cell fate/behaviour. Examination of PAI-1 has extended through various tissues and cell-types with recent investigations showing its presence in skeletal muscle. In skeletal muscle, the role of this protein has been implicated throughout the regeneration process, and in skeletal muscle pathologies (muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and aging-driven pathology). Needless to say, the complete function of this protein in skeletal muscle has yet to be fully elucidated. Given the importance of skeletal muscle in maintaining overall health and quality of life, it is critical to understand the alterations—particularly in PAI-1—that occur to negatively impact this organ. Thus, we provide a comprehensive review of the importance of PAI-1 in skeletal muscle health and function. We aim to shed light on the relevance of this protein in skeletal muscle and propose potential therapeutic approaches to aid in the maintenance of skeletal muscle health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Tooth Enamel and Its Dynamic Protein Matrix
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124458 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2426
Abstract
Tooth enamel is the outer covering of tooth crowns, the hardest material in the mammalian body, yet fracture resistant. The extremely high content of 95 wt% calcium phosphate in healthy adult teeth is achieved through mineralization of a proteinaceous matrix that changes in [...] Read more.
Tooth enamel is the outer covering of tooth crowns, the hardest material in the mammalian body, yet fracture resistant. The extremely high content of 95 wt% calcium phosphate in healthy adult teeth is achieved through mineralization of a proteinaceous matrix that changes in abundance and composition. Enamel-specific proteins and proteases are known to be critical for proper enamel formation. Recent proteomics analyses revealed many other proteins with their roles in enamel formation yet to be unraveled. Although the exact protein composition of healthy tooth enamel is still unknown, it is apparent that compromised enamel deviates in amount and composition of its organic material. Why these differences affect both the mineralization process before tooth eruption and the properties of erupted teeth will become apparent as proteomics protocols are adjusted to the variability between species, tooth size, sample size and ephemeral organic content of forming teeth. This review summarizes the current knowledge and published proteomics data of healthy and diseased tooth enamel, including advancements in forensic applications and disease models in animals. A summary and discussion of the status quo highlights how recent proteomics findings advance our understating of the complexity and temporal changes of extracellular matrix composition during tooth enamel formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Implications of Skeletal Muscle Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Metabolic Disorders: Diabetes Perspective
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113845 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2935
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a scaffold for cells, controlling biological processes and providing structural as well as mechanical support to surrounding cells. Disruption of ECM homeostasis results in several pathological conditions. Skeletal muscle ECM is a complex network comprising collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a scaffold for cells, controlling biological processes and providing structural as well as mechanical support to surrounding cells. Disruption of ECM homeostasis results in several pathological conditions. Skeletal muscle ECM is a complex network comprising collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and elastin. Recent therapeutic approaches targeting ECM remodeling have been extensively deliberated. Various ECM components are typically found to be augmented in the skeletal muscle of obese and/or diabetic humans. Skeletal muscle ECM remodeling is thought to be a feature of the pathogenic milieu allied with metabolic dysregulation, obesity, and eventual diabetes. This narrative review explores the current understanding of key components of skeletal muscle ECM and their specific roles in the regulation of metabolic diseases. Additionally, we discuss muscle-specific integrins and their role in the regulation of insulin sensitivity. A better understanding of the importance of skeletal muscle ECM remodeling, integrin signaling, and other factors that regulate insulin activity may help in the development of novel therapeutics for managing diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Skeletal Dysplasias Caused by Sulfation Defects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082710 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Proteoglycans (PGs) are macromolecules present on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix that confer specific mechanical, biochemical, and physical properties to tissues. Sulfate groups present on glycosaminoglycans, linear polysaccharide chains attached to PG core proteins, are fundamental for correct PG functions. [...] Read more.
Proteoglycans (PGs) are macromolecules present on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix that confer specific mechanical, biochemical, and physical properties to tissues. Sulfate groups present on glycosaminoglycans, linear polysaccharide chains attached to PG core proteins, are fundamental for correct PG functions. Indeed, through the negative charge of sulfate groups, PGs interact with extracellular matrix molecules and bind growth factors regulating tissue structure and cell behavior. The maintenance of correct sulfate metabolism is important in tissue development and function, particularly in cartilage where PGs are fundamental and abundant components of the extracellular matrix. In chondrocytes, the main sulfate source is the extracellular space, then sulfate is taken up and activated in the cytosol to the universal sulfate donor to be used in sulfotransferase reactions. Alteration in each step of sulfate metabolism can affect macromolecular sulfation, leading to the onset of diseases that affect mainly cartilage and bone. This review presents a panoramic view of skeletal dysplasias caused by mutations in genes encoding for transporters or enzymes involved in macromolecular sulfation. Future research in this field will contribute to the understanding of the disease pathogenesis, allowing the development of targeted therapies aimed at alleviating, preventing, or modifying the disease progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Review of Alterations in Perlecan-Associated Vascular Risk Factors in Dementia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020679 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Perlecan is a heparan sulfate proteoglycan protein in the extracellular matrix that structurally and biochemically supports the cerebrovasculature by dynamically responding to changes in cerebral blood flow. These changes in perlecan expression seem to be contradictory, ranging from neuroprotective and angiogenic to thrombotic [...] Read more.
Perlecan is a heparan sulfate proteoglycan protein in the extracellular matrix that structurally and biochemically supports the cerebrovasculature by dynamically responding to changes in cerebral blood flow. These changes in perlecan expression seem to be contradictory, ranging from neuroprotective and angiogenic to thrombotic and linked to lipid retention. This review investigates perlecan’s influence on risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and amyloid that effect Vascular contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID). VCID, a comorbidity with diverse etiology in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is thought to be a major factor that drives the overall clinical burden of dementia. Accordingly, changes in perlecan expression and distribution in response to VCID appears to be injury, risk factor, location, sex, age, and perlecan domain dependent. While great effort has been made to understand the role of perlecan in VCID, additional studies are needed to increase our understanding of perlecan’s role in health and in cerebrovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
Review
Extracellular Matrix in Regulation of Contractile System in Cardiomyocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205054 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
The contractile apparatus of cardiomyocytes is considered to be a stable system. However, it undergoes strong rearrangements during heart development as cells progress from their non-muscle precursors. Long-term culturing of mature cardiomyocytes is also accompanied by the reorganization of their contractile apparatus with [...] Read more.
The contractile apparatus of cardiomyocytes is considered to be a stable system. However, it undergoes strong rearrangements during heart development as cells progress from their non-muscle precursors. Long-term culturing of mature cardiomyocytes is also accompanied by the reorganization of their contractile apparatus with the conversion of typical myofibrils into structures of non-muscle type. Processes of heart development as well as cell adaptation to culture conditions in cardiomyocytes both involve extracellular matrix changes, which appear to be crucial for the maturation of contractile apparatus. The aim of this review is to analyze the role of extracellular matrix in the regulation of contractile system dynamics in cardiomyocytes. Here, the remodeling of actin contractile structures and the expression of actin isoforms in cardiomyocytes during differentiation and adaptation to the culture system are described along with the extracellular matrix alterations. The data supporting the regulation of actin dynamics by extracellular matrix are highlighted and the possible mechanisms of such regulation are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Extracellular Matrix Alterations in Metastatic Processes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194947 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 120 | Viewed by 4963
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex network of extracellular-secreted macromolecules, such as collagen, enzymes and glycoproteins, whose main functions deal with structural scaffolding and biochemical support of cells and tissues. ECM homeostasis is essential for organ development and functioning under physiological conditions, [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex network of extracellular-secreted macromolecules, such as collagen, enzymes and glycoproteins, whose main functions deal with structural scaffolding and biochemical support of cells and tissues. ECM homeostasis is essential for organ development and functioning under physiological conditions, while its sustained modification or dysregulation can result in pathological conditions. During cancer progression, epithelial tumor cells may undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a morphological and functional remodeling, that deeply alters tumor cell features, leading to loss of epithelial markers (i.e., E-cadherin), changes in cell polarity and intercellular junctions and increase of mesenchymal markers (i.e., N-cadherin, fibronectin and vimentin). This process enhances cancer cell detachment from the original tumor mass and invasiveness, which are necessary for metastasis onset, thus allowing cancer cells to enter the bloodstream or lymphatic flow and colonize distant sites. The mechanisms that lead to development of metastases in specific sites are still largely obscure but modifications occurring in target tissue ECM are being intensively studied. Matrix metalloproteases and several adhesion receptors, among which integrins play a key role, are involved in metastasis-linked ECM modifications. In addition, cells involved in the metastatic niche formation, like cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF) and tumor associated macrophages (TAM), have been found to play crucial roles in ECM alterations aimed at promoting cancer cells adhesion and growth. In this review we focus on molecular mechanisms of ECM modifications occurring during cancer progression and metastatic dissemination to distant sites, with special attention to lung, liver and bone. Moreover, the functional role of cells forming the tumor niche will also be reviewed in light of the most recent findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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Review
Developing Regenerative Treatments for Developmental Defects, Injuries, and Diseases Using Extracellular Matrix Collagen-Targeting Peptides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(17), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174072 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
Collagen is the most widespread extracellular matrix (ECM) protein in the body and is important in maintaining the functionality of organs and tissues. Studies have explored interventions using collagen-targeting tissue engineered techniques, using collagen hybridizing or collagen binding peptides, to target or treat [...] Read more.
Collagen is the most widespread extracellular matrix (ECM) protein in the body and is important in maintaining the functionality of organs and tissues. Studies have explored interventions using collagen-targeting tissue engineered techniques, using collagen hybridizing or collagen binding peptides, to target or treat dysregulated or injured collagen in developmental defects, injuries, and diseases. Researchers have used collagen-targeting peptides to deliver growth factors, drugs, and genetic materials, to develop bioactive surfaces, and to detect the distribution and status of collagen. All of these approaches have been used for various regenerative medicine applications, including neovascularization, wound healing, and tissue regeneration. In this review, we describe in depth the collagen-targeting approaches for regenerative therapeutics and compare the benefits of using the different molecules for various present and future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
Review
Extracellular Interactions of Alpha-Synuclein in Multiple System Atrophy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 4129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19124129 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3658
Abstract
Multiple system atrophy, characterized by atypical Parkinsonism, results from central nervous system (CNS) cell loss and dysfunction linked to aggregates of the normally pre-synaptic α-synuclein protein. Mostly cytoplasmic pathological α-synuclein inclusion bodies occur predominantly in oligodendrocytes in affected brain regions and there is [...] Read more.
Multiple system atrophy, characterized by atypical Parkinsonism, results from central nervous system (CNS) cell loss and dysfunction linked to aggregates of the normally pre-synaptic α-synuclein protein. Mostly cytoplasmic pathological α-synuclein inclusion bodies occur predominantly in oligodendrocytes in affected brain regions and there is evidence that α-synuclein released by neurons is taken up preferentially by oligodendrocytes. However, extracellular α-synuclein has also been shown to interact with other neural cell types, including astrocytes and microglia, as well as extracellular factors, mediating neuroinflammation, cell-to-cell spread and other aspects of pathogenesis. Here, we review the current evidence for how α-synuclein present in the extracellular milieu may act at the cell surface to drive components of disease progression. A more detailed understanding of the important extracellular interactions of α-synuclein with neuronal and non-neuronal cell types both in the brain and periphery may provide new therapeutic targets to modulate the disease process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease 2.0)
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