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Interactions between the matricellular protein BM-40 and fibrillar collagens type I, II and III

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Introduction 2 The Extracellular Matrix The evolution of multicellular organisms was mostly associated with the necessity of a controlled environment where cells could survive and interact, and where specialization could occur. This fundamental requirement was met by the formation of a network of connecting elements, the extracellular matrix (ECM), which not only permitted the inflow and outflow of materials essential for life, but also provided protection from external physical stress on the organism. The ECM can be defined as a complex network of macromolecules, composed of insoluble fibres, microfibrils and a wide range of soluble proteins, produced and secreted in the extracellular space by the cells of the connective tissues. The primary role of the ECM is to endow tissues with specific mechanical and physiochemical properties and to provide a scaffold for cell attachment and migration. Although the ECM is a quite stable structure that surrounds the cells, it has not to be considered as an inert scaffold that stabilizes the physical structure of tissues: the matrix plays a far more active and complex role in regulating the behaviour of the cells, influencing their development, migration, proliferation, shape and function. Cells are in fact continuously interacting with the matrix produced by themselves, thus maintaining an active and important exchange of information through the binding of specific cell surface receptors and growth factors with matrix components. We can distinguish at least three main classes of molecules composing the ECM and contributing to its functions: • insoluble proteins, like collagens and elastin, responsible for the resistance and the elastic properties of the connective tissues; • soluble macromolecules and various glycoproteins, such as proteoglycans, that contribute to the elasticity and the cohesion of the tissues by resisting the compression forces and allowing the diffusion of small molecules; • another class of molecules, termed “matricellular” proteins, like BM-40, thrombospondins and tenascins, that function as adaptors and modulators of cell-matrix interactions without having strictly or exclusively structural roles.

Anteprima della Tesi di Camilla Giudici

Anteprima della tesi: Interactions between the matricellular protein BM-40 and fibrillar collagens type I, II and III, Pagina 2

Tesi di Dottorato

Dipartimento: Dipartimento di Biochimica

Autore: Camilla Giudici Contatta »

Composta da 94 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 290 click dal 12/10/2004.

 

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