The ExtraCellular Matrix: a focus on GlycosAminoGlycans and Hyaluronan

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional macromolecular network composed of structural proteins (collagens, elastin), adhesion/signalling proteins (fibronectin, laminins), different proteoglycans, glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs are structurally complex, but their structure is simply made up of repeating disaccharide building blocks composed of alternating uronic acid and hexosamine units. GAGs Read more…

Influence of the extracellular matrix on cancer cell proliferation and migration

Extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to have an influence on physiological processes and on tumour progression: ECM properties (composition, stiffness) modulate cell proliferation, migration, invasion and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). For example, EMT is inhibited by laminin-rich environment whereas it is promoted in fibronectin-rich ECM (Chen et al 2013. Differentiation 86, Read more…