Volume 7.13 | Apr 7

Extracellular Matrix News 7.13 April 7, 2016
Extracellular Matrix News
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Interfacial Geometry Dictates Cancer Cell Tumorigenicity
By using engineered extracellular matrices, scientists showed that geometric features at the perimeter of tumor tissue will prime a population of cells with a stem-cell-like phenotype. They also showed that interfacial geometry modulates cell shape, adhesion through integrin α5β1, MAPK and STAT activity, and initiation of pluripotency signaling. [Nat Mater] Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Neuronal Heparan Sulfates Promote Amyloid Pathology by Modulating Brain Amyloid-β Clearance and Aggregation in Alzheimer’s Disease
Investigators found that the amounts of various heparan sulfate proteoglycans were increased in postmortem human brain tissues from Alzheimer’s disease patients, suggesting that this pathway may contribute directly to amyloid pathogenesis. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

Host Selection of Microbiota via Differential Adhesion
Scientists’ simulations predict that host-mediated adhesion can increase the competitive advantage of microbes and create ecological refugia for slow-growing species. They showed how positive selection via adhesion can be transformed into negative selection if the host secretes large quantities of a matrix such as mucus. [Cell Host Microbe] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

PDGF-AB and 5-Azacytidine Induce Conversion of Somatic Cells into Tissue-Regenerative Multipotent Stem Cells
Investigators report that transient treatment with 5-Azacytidine in combination with platelet-derived growth factor–AB (PDGF-AB) converts primary somatic cells into tissue-regenerative multipotent stem (iMS) cells. Importantly, unlike mesenchymal stem cells, iMS cells contribute directly to in vivo tissue regeneration in a context-dependent manner and, unlike embryonic or pluripotent stem cells, do not form teratomas. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release | Video

Matrix Stiffness-Mediated Effects on Stemness Characteristics Occurring in HCC Cells
Investigators explored whether matrix stiffness-mediated effects on stemness characteristics occur in HCC cells. As the substrate stiffness increased, HCC cells exhibited high proportion of cells with CD133+/EpCAM+, high expression levels of CD133, EpCAM, Nanog and SOX2, greater self-renewing ability and oxaliplatin resistance. [Oncotarget] Full Article

Short-Chain Ceramides Depress Integrin Cell Surface Expression and Function in Colorectal Cancer Cells
Scientists determined the impact of ceramide, which plays a key modulatory role in cancer suppression, on integrin cell surface expression and function in colorectal cancer cells in order to reveal possible ceramide-centric effects on tumor cell motility. [Cancer Lett] Abstract

A Novel Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 Inhibitor Protects against Cartilage Degradation in a Murine Model of Osteoarthritis
Researchers investigated the effect of a novel non-ATP-competitive fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 inhibitor, G141, on the catabolic events in human articular chondrocytes and cartilage explants and on the progression of cartilage degradation in a murine model of osteoarthritis. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Molecular Basis of the Ligand-Binding Specificity of αvβ8 Integrin
Researchers comprehensively determined the binding activity of αvβ8 integrin towards 25 secreted proteins having an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif. αvβ8 integrin strongly bound to latent TGF-β1 but showed marginal activity for other RGD-containing proteins including fibronectin and vitronectin. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

The Integrin-Mediated ILK-Parvin-αPix Signaling Axis Controls Differentiation in Mammary Epithelial Cells
Expression of integrin linked kinase (ILK) mutants, which weaken the interaction between ILK and Parvin, revealed that Parvins have a role in mammary epithelial differentiation. [J Cell Physiol] Abstract

Understanding the Role of ECM Protein Composition and Geometric Micropatterning for Engineering Human Skeletal Muscle
Scientists investigated microenvironmental cues that drive myoblast differentiation into aligned myotubes for potential applications in skeletal muscle repair, organ-on-chip disease models and actuators for soft robotics. They used a 2D in vitro system to systematically evaluate the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) protein composition and geometric patterning for controlling the formation of highly aligned myotubes. [Ann Biomed Eng] Abstract

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Converging and Unique Mechanisms of Mechanotransduction at Adhesion Sites
Although the core constituents of different adhesions are distinct, principles and proteins involved in mechanotransduction are conserved. The authors discuss the current knowledge of overlapping and distinct aspects of mechanotransduction between integrin and cadherin adhesion complexes. [Trends Cell Biol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.
Samumed Presents at the 2016 World Congress of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International
Samumed presented clinical and preclinical results from its osteoarthritis program using SM04690—a novel small molecule inhibitor of the Wnt pathway administered via intra-articular injection. [Press release from Samumed, LLC discussing research presented at the 2016 World Congress on Osteoarthritis, Amsterdam] Press Release

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American Cancer Society Awards New Research and Training Grants
The American Cancer Society has approved funding for 103 research and training grants totaling nearly $44 million in the first of two grant cycles for 2016. The grants will fund investigators at 74 institutions across the United States; 95 are new grants while eight are renewals of previous grants. [The American Cancer Society] Press Release

NSF Grant Funds the Design of Tough and Smart Hydrogels
Dr. Jie Zheng will receive $343,616 to design a new class of multifunctional tough double-network hydrogels, which can be used for a wide range of biomedical and industrial applications, including wastewater treatment, tissue engineering, drug delivery and in the food industry. [The University of Akron] Press Release

Professor Michael Sefton Receives European Society for Biomaterials International Award
University of Toronto biomedical engineering Professor Michael Sefton has been named the 2016 recipient of the International Award from the European Society for Biomaterials. He was one of the first to combine living cells with polymers, effectively launching what is now called tissue engineering. [University of Toronto] Press Release
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 2016 World Cancer Congress
October 31-November 3, 2016
Paris, France

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Hematopoietic and Leukemic Stem Cells (The Francis Crick Institute)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Cervical Extracellular Matrix (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)

NEW Engineering Project Lead (Cytonome)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Mechanoregulation of Fibrosis and Vascular Injury (St. Michael’s Hospital)

NEW Professor – Bioengineering (University of Exeter)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering (Northwestern University)

Postdoctoral Position – Non-Viral Gene Delivery & Scaffold Design (Nanyang Technological University)

Professor – Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Cell Biology and Regenerative Therapies in Cardiovascular Diseases (Universitätsmedizin Göttingen)

PhD Positions – Cancer, Microbiology and Stem Cell Engineering (Virginia Commonwealth University)

PhD Positions – Tendon Repair and Regeneration (NUI Galway)

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