Volume 6.35 | Sep 10

Extracellular Matrix News 6.35 September 10, 2015
Extracellular Matrix News
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Biologists Zero in on Proteins Lumican, TNF-alpha as Two-Step Trigger for Deadly Scar-Tissue Production
Scientists have made additional progress in understanding the process behind scar-tissue formation and wound healing—specifically, a breakthrough in fibroblast-to-fibrocyte signaling involving two key proteins that work together to promote fibrocyte differentiation to lethal excess—that could lead to new advances in treating and preventing fibrotic disease. [Press release from Texas A&M University discussing online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science] Press Release | Video | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
A Synthetic Hydrogel for the High-Throughput Study of Cell–ECM Interactions
Scientists describe a simple, high-throughput platform based on light-modulated hyaluronic acid hydrogels that enables imposition of mutually independent and spatially continuous gradients of ligand density and substrate stiffness. They validated this system by showing that it can support mechanosensitive differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Integrin-Linked Kinase Regulates the Niche of Quiescent Epidermal Stem Cells
The authors showed that integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a key regulator of the bulge extracellular matrix microenvironment, thereby governing the activation and maintenance of hair follicle stem cells. ILK mediates deposition of inverse laminin (LN)-332 and LN-511 gradients within the basement membrane wrapping the hair follicles. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Peak BMP Responses in the Drosophila Embryo Are Dependent on the Activation of Integrin Signaling
Investigators used the Drosophila embryo as a model to investigate how BMP responses are influenced by a cell’s local extracellular matrix (ECM) environment. They showed that integrins, which are ECM receptors, are absolutely required for peak BMP signaling. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Type VI Collagen Regulates Dermal Matrix Assembly and Fibroblast Motility
Scientists examined the expression pattern of type VI collagen in normal and wounded skin and investigated its specific function in new matrix deposition by human dermal fibroblasts. [J Invest Dermatol] Abstract

Bioengineering Vascularized Tissue Constructs Using an Injectable Cell-Laden Enzymatically Crosslinked Collagen Hydrogel Derived from Dermal Extracellular Matrix
Investigators aimed to develop injectable allogeneic collagen-phenolic hydroxyl (collagen-Ph) hydrogels that are capable of controlling a wide range of physicochemical properties, including stiffness, water absorption and degradability. They tested whether collagen-Ph hydrogels could support the formation of vascularized engineered tissue graft by human blood-derived endothelial colony-forming cells and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in vivo. [Acta Biomater] Abstract

Adult Lung Spheroid Cells Contain Progenitor Cells and Mediate Regeneration in Rodents with Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis
Researchers report a rapid and robust method to generate therapeutic resident lung progenitors from adult lung tissues. Outgrowth cells from healthy lung tissue explants are self-aggregated into three-dimensional lung spheroids in a suspension culture. Without antigenic sorting, the lung spheroids recapitulate the stem cell niche and contain a natural mixture of lung stem cells and supporting cells. [Stem Cells Transl Med]
Abstract | Press Release

Chick Tendon Fibroblast Transcriptome and Shape Depend on Whether the Cell Has Made Its Own Collagen Matrix
The authors compared chick tendon fibroblasts (CTFs) at three stages of embryonic development with CTFs cultured in collagen- or fibrin-based tissue engineered constructs. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Stiff Substrates Increase YAP-Signaling-Mediated Matrix Metalloproteinase-7 Expression
Scientists cultured T84 human colorectal cancer cells on plastic dishes to create a stiff substrate or on collagen-I gel to create a soft substrate. The stiff substrate enhanced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-7, an indicator of poor prognosis. [Oncogenesis] Full Article

Small Intestinal Submucosa-Derived Extracellular Matrix Bioscaffold Significantly Enhances Angiogenic Factor Secretion from Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Investigators evaluated the secretion of angiogenic factors from three human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) lines cultured on submucosa (SIS)-derived extracellular matrix (ECM). They used human antibody array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure the level of angiogenic factors released from MSCs when cultured on SIS ECM or regular tissue culture plastic. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Abstract | Full Article

Physical Mechanisms Underlying the Strain-Rate-Dependent Mechanical Behavior of Kangaroo Shoulder Cartilage
The authors report that superficial collagen plays a more significant role than proteoglycans in facilitating strain-rate-dependent behavior of the kangaroo shoulder cartilage. [Appl Phys Lett] Full Article | Press Release

Increasing 3D Matrix Rigidity Strengthens Proliferation and Spheroid Development of Human Liver Cells in a Constant Growth Factor Environment
Researchers determined if 3D stiffness could influence growth and phenotype of normal and transformed hepatocytes and to integrate extracellular matrix stiffness to tensional homeostasis. [J Cell Biochem] Abstract

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Dissecting Fibrosis: Therapeutic Insights from the Small-Molecule Toolbox
The authors examine the pharmacology and structural information for small molecules being evaluated for lung, liver, kidney and skin fibrosis. [Nat Rev Drug Discov] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the Extracellular Matrix research field.
Childhood Cancer Research at UCSF to Transcend Tissue Types with Innovative Grant
Researchers at UC San Francisco (UCSF) are leading a five-year, $10 million research project dedicated to pediatric cancer, funded by the first grant of its kind to focus on a molecular pathway that underlies many cancers rather than on a cancer in a particular organ or tissue in the body. [UC San Francisco] Press Release

Ogawa-Yamanaka Prize Founded at the Gladstone Institutes to Support Translational Stem Cell Research
The Gladstone Institutes presented the inaugural Ogawa-Yamanaka Stem Cell Prize to Masayo Takahashi, MD, PhD, a faculty member and project leader in the Laboratory for Retinal Regeneration at the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan. Dr. Takahashi was awarded the prize for her trailblazing work leading the first clinical trial to use induced pluripotent stem cells in humans. [Gladstone Institutes] 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 1st International Nastaran Cancer Symposium-2015
October 1, 2015
Mashhad, Iran

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NEW Postdoctoral Research Associate – Breast Cancer Invasion / Extracellular Matrix / Proteomics / Microscopy (University of Liverpool)

Assistant Professor – Stem Cell Biology (Stanford University)

Cell Biology Lab Manager (Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellowships – Embryonic Stem Cells, Bio-NEMS, Tissue Engineering (University of South Carolina)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration (University of Connecticut Health Center)

Assistant Professor – Cell Biology or Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms (Washington University School of Medicine)

PhD Position – Materials Engineering (IFP Energies Nouvelles)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Ex Vivo Tumor Organoid Models (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Scientific Writer – Cardiovascular Regeneration (Houston Methodist Research Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology (INSERM)

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