Volume 4.18 | May 9

Extracellular Matrix News 4.18 May 9, 2013
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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Commands from the Matrix: Cellular Environment Controls Formation and Activity of Neuronal Connections
Environment molds behavior – and not just that of people in society, but also at the microscopic level. This is because, for their function, neurons are dependent on the cell environment, the so-termed extracellular matrix. Researchers found evidence that this complex network of molecules controls the formation and activity of the neuronal connections. [Press release from Ruhr-Universität discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Neuroscience] Press Release | Abstract

New TeSR™-E8™ is Here For Feeder-Free Culture of Human ES Cells and iPS Cells

PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

The Collagen Receptor Discoidin Domain Receptor 2 Stabilizes SNAIL1 to Facilitate Breast Cancer Metastasis
Researchers showed that activation of the collagen I receptor discoidin domain receptor 2 regulates SNAIL1 stability by stimulating ERK2 activity, in a Src-dependent manner. Activated ERK2 directly phosphorylates SNAIL1, leading to SNAIL1 nuclear accumulation, reduced ubiquitylation and increased protein half-life. [Nat Cell Bio] Abstract | Press Release

Abnormal Recruitment of Extracellular Matrix Proteins by Excess Notch3ECD: A New Pathomechanism in Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy
Results suggest a dysregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 3 activity, which could contribute to mutant NOTCH3 receptor (Notch3ECD) toxicity by impairing extracellular matrix homeostasis in small vessels. [Brain] Abstract

Biologic Properties of Surgical Scaffold Materials Derived from Dermal Extracellular Matrix
A panel of in vitro assays were used to make direct comparisons of several similar, commercially-available materials: Alloderm, Medeor Matrix, Permacol, and Strattice. Differences in the materials were detected for both cell signaling and scaffold architecture-dependent cell invasion. [Biomaterials] Abstract

Microstructural Characterization of Vocal Folds toward a Strain-Energy Model of Collagen Remodeling
Most extracellular matrix proteins remain intact during frozen sectioning, which allows them to be scanned using atomic force microscopy (AFM). In the present study, the shape and organization of collagen fibrils in dissected porcine vocal folds were quantified using nonlinear laser scanning microscopy data at the micrometer scale and AFM data at the nanometer scale. [Acta Biomater] Abstract

Structural Analysis of Collagen Type I Interactions with Human Fibronectin Reveals a Cooperative Binding Mode
Researchers analyzed the four interactions formed between epitopes of collagen type I and the collagen binding fragment of human fibronectin using solution NMR, fluorescence and small angle X-ray scattering methods. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Promotes Breast Cancer Progression via a Fibronectin-Dependent Stat3 Signaling Pathway
The authors previously established that overexpression of the EGF receptor (EGFR) is sufficient to induce tumor formation by otherwise non-transformed mammary epithelial cells, and that the initiation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is capable of increasing the invasion and metastasis of these cells. Using this breast cancer model, they found that in addition to EGF, adhesion to fibronectin activates Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (Stat3) through EGFR-dependent and -independent mechanisms. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Strain Propagation in Artificial Extracellular Matrix Proteins Can Accelerate Cell Spreading and Polarization
To better understand the mechanical coupling between cells and their surroundings, investigators examined the dynamics of adhesion of Chinese hamster ovary cells cultured on engineered protein substrates with different viscoelastic properties. [Soft Matter] Abstract

In Vivo “MRI Phenotyping” Reveals Changes in Extracellular Matrix Transport and Vascularization that Mediate VEGF-Driven Increase in Breast Cancer Metastasis
To gain new insights into the relationship between angiogenic factors in breast cancer and their effect on extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and metastasis, scientists characterized and validated the “metastatic signature” of human breast cancer cell lines engineered to overexpress VEGF in terms of in vivo MRI-derived angiogenesis and ECM transport parameters. [PLoS One] Full Article

A Role for PVRL4-Driven Cell-Cell Interactions in Tumorigenesis
During all stages of tumor progression, cancer cells are subjected to inappropriate extracellular matrix environments and must undergo adaptive changes in order to evade growth constraints associated with the loss of matrix attachment. A gain of function screen for genes that enable proliferation independently of matrix anchorage identified a cell adhesion molecule poliovirus-receptor-like 4 (PVRL4). PVRL4 promotes anchorage-independence by driving cell-to-cell attachment and matrix-independent integrin β4/SHP-2/c-Src activation. [eLIFE] Abstract | Press Release

Culture primary neurons independent of substrate with NeuroCult™ SM2


MMP Inhibition as a Potential Method to Augment the Healing of Skeletal Muscle and Tendon Extracellular Matrix
This review discusses the mechanobiology of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and the potential use of MMP inhibitors to improve the treatment of injured and diseased skeletal muscle and tendon tissue. [J Appl Physiol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.


Berkeley Lab Discoveries Open New Hope for MMP Cancer Therapies
New evidence supports earlier findings that cancer therapy drugs based on a family of enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMPs) failed in clinical trials because they were aimed at the wrong target. Berkeley Lab researchers who previously demonstrated that MMP14 interacts with a partner to promote mammary invasion and – under abnormal conditions – tumors through a mechanism distinct from catalytic activity, have now shown that MMP3 can also promote tumors but via interaction with a different partner. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory] Press Release

ACell Receives SMARTCAP Award from NASA-Funded Space Research Institute
ACell, Inc., a leading developer of next-generation regenerative medicine products, announced that it has received the Space Medicine and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP) award, given by National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Industry forum. The award will support ACell in the development of innovative new medical devices that address unmet health needs in space and on Earth, specifically in the area of wound care. [ACell, Inc.] Press Release

Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology’s “InBreath” Scaffold and Bioreactor Used in First U.S. Transplant of a Regenerated Trachea: Surgery Successfully Implanted Trachea into Two-Year-Old
Harvard Bioscience, Inc. announced that the “InBreath” tracheal scaffold and bioreactor system manufactured by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc., its wholly owned regenerative medicine technology subsidiary, were used in the first successful transplant of a regenerated trachea in the United States. The surgery was also the world’s first successful pediatric regenerated trachea transplant using a synthetic scaffold. [Harvard Bioscience, Inc.] Press Release

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National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)
European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


NEW 8th International Conference on Proteoglycans
August 25-29, 2013
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

January 28-29, 2014
San Diego, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.


NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell and Cancer Biology (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

PhD Position – Scaffolds Functionalization (FORTH-Ultrafast Laser Micro/Nano Processing)

Price Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Extracellular Microenvironment in Blood Vessel Morphogenesis (Thomas Jefferson University)

Postdoctoral Position – Extracellular Matrix + Developmental Biology (Purdue University)

Postdoctoral Position – Tissue Engineering (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Extracellular Microenvironment in Blood Vessel Morphogenesis (Thomas Jefferson University)

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