Volume 6.25 | Jul 2

Extracellular Matrix News 6.25 July 2, 2015
Extracellular Matrix News
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Tumors’ Mechanical Properties Affect Protein Production
Tissues stiffen with age, poor diet, disease and for natural reasons, and when they do, proteins produced by such cells can be altered, which in turn affects downstream processes. The finding provides new ways for scientists to promote or limit the production of certain proteins through a tissue’s softness or firmness, and opens doors to develop tumor-fighting drugs and tissue engineering. [Press release from Cornell University discussing online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]
Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Adaptive Rheology and Ordering of Cell Cytoskeleton Govern Matrix Rigidity Sensing
Researchers showed that rigidity sensing and adaptation emerge naturally from actin cytoskeleton remodeling. Their in vitro experiments and theoretical modelling demonstrated a biphasic rheology of the actin cytoskeleton, which transitions from fluid on soft substrates to solid on stiffer ones. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Filamin A Mediates Wound Closure by Promoting Elastic Deformation and Maintenance of Tension in the Collagen Matrix
Investigators examined the role of filamin A (FLNa), an actin filament cross-linking protein, in wound contraction and maintenance of matrix tension. Conditional deletion of FLNa in fibroblasts in mice was associated with approximately four days delay of full-thickness skin wound contraction compared with wild-type mice. [J Invest Dermatol] Abstract

Elevated Expression of Periostin in Human Osteoarthritic Cartilage and Its Potential Role in Matrix Degradation via Matrix Metalloproteinase-13
Scientists investigated the role of periostin, an extracellular matrix protein, in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis (OA). They examined periostin expression by immunohistochemical analysis of lesional and nonlesional cartilage from human and rodent OA knee cartilage. [FASEB J] Abstract

Pathophysiological Role of MicroRNA-29 in Pancreatic Cancer Stroma
In an effort to understand the molecular mechanisms associated with tumor-stromal interactions, using in vitro and in vivo models and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patient biopsies, scientists showed that the loss of miR-29 is a common phenomenon of activated pancreatic stellate cells/fibroblasts, the major stromal cells responsible for fibrotic stromal reaction. [Sci Rep] Full Article | Press Release

Cantharidin Represses Invasion of Pancreatic Cancer Cells through Accelerated Degradation of MMP2 mRNA
Investigators found that cantharidin repressed the invasive ability of pancreatic cancer cells and downregulated matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) expression through multiple pathways, including ERK, JNK, PKC, NF-κB, and β-catenin. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Controlled Growth and the Maintenance of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells by Cultivation with Defined Medium on Extracellular Matrix-Coated Micropatterned Dishes
Researchers introduced a micropatterned dish that was coated with extracellular matrix by photolithographic technology. This procedure allowed the cultivation of human pluripotent stem cells on 199 individual recombinant human vitronectin-N-coated small round spots on each 35-mm polystyrene dish, permitting the simultaneous formation of 199 uniform high-density small-sized colonies. [PLoS One] Full Article

Alcohol Differentially Alters Extracellular Matrix and Adhesion Molecule Expression in Skeletal Muscle and Heart
Scientists used an unbiased discovery-based approach to determine the effect of chronic alcohol consumption on the expression profile of genes important for cell–cell and cell–extracellular matrix interactions in both skeletal and cardiac muscle. [Alcohol Clin Exp Res] Abstract

Extracellular Matrix-Based Intracortical Microelectrodes: Toward a Microfabricated Neural Interface Based on Natural Materials
Extracellular matrix (ECM)-based implantable neural electrodes were achieved using a microfabrication strategy on natural-substrate-based organic materials. The ECM-based design minimized the introduction of non-natural products into the brain. [Microsyst Nanoeng] Full Article

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BMP Gradients: A Paradigm for Morphogen-Mediated Developmental Patterning
The authors summarize the variety of mechanisms that contribute to generating reliable developmental responses to bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) gradients and other morphogen systems. [Science] Abstract

Clinical Significance of the Integrin α6β4 in Human Malignancies
The authors provide an assessment of integrin α6β4 expression patterns and their prognostic significance in human malignancies, and describe key signaling functions of integrin α6β4 that contribute to tumor progression. [Lab Invest] Full Article

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.
Cyrus Ghajar Receives $4.1 Million Grant to Study Ways to Prevent Metastatic Breast Cancer
Dr. Cyrus Ghajar has received a $4.1 million Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program “Era of Hope” Scholar Award. He will use the funds to research ways to prevent breast cancer metastasis by treating dormant disseminated tumor cells. [Fred Hutch Cancer Center] Press Release

NantCell Acquires VivaBioCell to Develop Automated “GMP-in-a-Box” for Next Generation Large Scale Cell Culture Immunotherapy and Tissue Engineering
NantCell announced that VBC Holdings, LLC has completed the acquisition of privately held VivaBioCell SpA. VivaBioCell’s automated “GMP-in-a-Box” medical devices enable safe, efficacious, standardized and affordable medical treatments by creating a next generation tissue engineering manufacturing capability. [NantHealth LLC] Press Release

UCLA Doctors Use 3-D Printed Model to Guide Tricky Heart Valve Replacement
The 3-D model, which was created using a CT scan of the patient’s heart, was made of a silicon-like material with properties similar to tissues and other structures in the heart. The doctors guided a mesh-like stent into place, where it acted as scaffolding to hold the valve, and then guided the tightly packaged valve into the model. [UCLA] Press Release | Video

The Canadian Cancer Society Honors Top Researchers with Awards for Excellence
Five of Canada’s most outstanding cancer scientists received prestigious cancer research awards. The Canadian Cancer Society honored five remarkable researchers with Awards for Excellence for their tremendous contributions to progress in cancer research. [Canadian Cancer Society] Press Release

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European Medicines Agency (European Union)

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Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW Stem Cells of the Skin: Target and Cure for Disease
October 29-30, 2015
Santander, Spain

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.
NEW Biomedical Engineer (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht)

Group Leader – Biomedical Engineering (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht)

PhD Position – Drug Releasing, Nanostructured Biomaterials for Adult Stem Cells (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

Research Associate – Novel Therapeutics and Biomarkers in Peripheral Ischemia (University of Bristol)

Associate Scientist – Biomedical Engineering (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology (INSERM)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Tissue Engineering (Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Position – Proteoglycan and Dislocations (Inserm)

PhD Position – Tumor Biology (University of Duisburg-Essen)

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