Volume 5.02 | Jan 23

Extracellular Matrix News 5.02 January 23, 2014
Extracellular Matrix News
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Overexpression of Splicing Protein Involved in Skin Repair Causes Early Changes Seen in Skin Cancer
Researchers report that a protein they show is normally involved in healing wounds and maintaining homeostasis in skin tissue is also, under certain conditions, a promoter of invasive and metastatic skin cancers. [Press release from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory discussing online prepublication in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Nonautonomous Contact Guidance Signaling during Collective Cell Migration
Although the contact guidance response of individual cells to topographic cues has been extensively characterized, little is known about the response of groups of cells to topographic cues, the impact of such cues on cell-cell coordination within groups, and the transmission of nonautonomous contact guidance information between neighboring cells. Researchers explored these phenomena by quantifying the migratory response of confluent monolayers of epithelial and fibroblast cells to contact guidance cues provided by grooved topography. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Global Analysis Reveals the Complexity of the Human Glomerular Extracellular Matrix
Investigators used mass spectrometry-based proteomics of enriched extracellular matrix (ECM) extracts for a global analysis of human glomerular ECM in vivo and identified a tissue-specific proteome of 144 structural and regulatory ECM proteins. [J Am Soc Nephrol] Full Article

Glomerular Cell Cross-Talk Influences Composition and Assembly of Extracellular Matrix
To characterize specific cellular contributions to the glomerular basement membrane, scientists used mass spectrometry-based proteomics to analyze extracellular matrix isolated from podocytes and glomerular endothelial cells in vitro. [J Am Soc Nephrol] Full Article

The Role of SDF-1α-ECM Crosstalk in Determining Neural Stem Cell Fate
The authors investigated the effect of stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α) and extracellular matrix (ECM) substrates (Matrigel, laminin, and vitronectin) on the migration, differentiation, and proliferation of neural progenitor/stem cells in vitro using standard assays. [Biomaterials] Abstract

Extracellular Matrix Density Regulates the Rate of Neovessel Growth and Branching in Sprouting Angiogenesis
Scientists characterized the relationship between matrix density and microvascular topology in an in vitro 3D organ culture model of sprouting angiogenesis. They used these results to design and calibrate a computational growth model to demonstrate how changes in individual neovessel behavior produce the changes in vascular topology that were observed experimentally. [PLoS One] Full Article | Press Release

Selective Laser Sintered Poly-ε-Caprolactone Scaffold Hybridized with Collagen Hydrogel for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
An in-house selective laser sintering machine was built and 3D poly-ε-caprolactone scaffolds were manufactured using a layer-by-layer design of scaffold struts with varying orientations, producing scaffolds with pores of different shapes and distribution. To better enhance the scaffold properties, chondrocytes were seeded in collagen gel and loaded in scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering. [Biofabrication] Abstract

Extracellular Matrix Density Promotes Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition by Weakening Cell-Cell Adhesions
Researchers developed a computational framework for studying modulation of cell-cell adhesion by extracellular matrix (ECM) density, integrating findings from multiple studies that connect ECM-mediated adhesion signaling and growth factor signaling with cell-cell adhesion. [Mol Biosyst] Abstract

A Decorin-Deficient Matrix Affects Skin Chondroitin/Dermatan Sulfate Levels and Keratinocyte Function
To determine the impact of the loss of dermatan sulfate-decorin in the dermis, the authors analyzed the glycosaminoglycan content of the decorin gene (Dcn−/−) and wild-type mouse skin. The total amount of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate was increased in the Dcn−/− skin, but was overall less sulfated with a significant reduction in bisulfated ΔDiS2,X (X = 4 or 6) disaccharide units, due to the reduced expression of uronyl 2-O sulfotransferase. [Matrix Biol] Full Article

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Matrix Regulators in Neural Stem Cells Functions
The authors summarize some of the major components of the neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPC) niche and provide examples of how cues from the extracellular matrix regulate NSPC behaviors. They use proteoglycans to illustrate the many diverse roles of the niche in providing temporal and spatial regulation of cellular behavior. [Biochim Biophys Acta] Abstract

Thrombospondin-2 and Extracellular Matrix Assembly
This review focuses on the role of the matricellular protein thrombospondin (TSP) 2 in extracellular matrix (ECM) assembly. Based on findings in TSP2-null mice and in vitro studies, they describe the participation of TSP2 in ECM assembly, cell-ECM interactions, and modulation of the levels of matrix metalloproteinases. [Biochim Biophys Acta] Abstract

Review: Manipulating the Extracellular Matrix and Its Role in Brain and Spinal Cord Plasticity and Repair
The authors discuss the major components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the role they play during development and following brain or spinal cord injury and they consider a number of experimental strategies which involve manipulations of the ECM, with the aim of promoting functional recovery to the injured brain and spinal cord. [Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.
The HUB Foundation for Organoid Technology and STEMCELL Technologies Sign Agreement on the Manufacturing of Cell Culture Media for Organoids
The HUB Foundation for Organoid Technology announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with STEMCELL Technologies Inc. for the manufacturing and worldwide distribution of cell culture media for growing Organoids. Organoids are mini-organs grown in tissue culture from small pieces of tissue derived from patients with cancer and other diseases, and represent an exciting new tool for scientific research and drug discovery and validation. [STEMCELL Technologies Inc.] Press Release

Organovo Announces Collaboration with National Institutes of Health
Organovo will collaborate with National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and National Eye Institute in using the NovoGen Bioprinting platform to create three-dimensional, architecturally correct, functional living tissues. [Organovo Holdings, Inc.] Press Release

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NEW 13th Annual McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Scientific Retreat
March 9-11, 2014
Farmington, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellowship – Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Adult CNS Plasticity (University of Turin)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Mechanisms of Angiogenesis and Vasculogenesis during Development and Retinal Diseases (State University of New York)

Postdoctoral Training Fellow – Proteomics and Cancer Biology (The Institute of Cancer Research)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Extracellular Matrix-Integrin Signaling and Trafficking of Membrane Transporters (Massachusetts General Hospital)

PhD Studentships – Collagen IV and Angiogenesis (University of East Anglia)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Mechanobiology, Fibroblasts and Matrix Biology (Mayo Clinic)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells and Bioengineering (Queensland University of Technology/Translational Research Institute)

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