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The extracellular matrix as a key regulator of intracellular signalling networks


The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a salient feature of all solid tissues within the body. This complex, acellular entity is composed of hundreds of individual molecules whose assembly, architecture and biomechanical properties are critical to controlling the behaviour and phenotype of the different cells types residing within tissues. Cells are the basic unit of life and the core building block of tissues and organs. At their simplest, they follow a set of rules, governed by their genetic code, and actioned through the complex protein signalling networks that these genes encode. These signalling networks assimilate and process the information received by the cell to control cellular decisions that govern cell fate. The ECM is the biggest provider of external stimuli to cells and as such responsible for influencing intracellular signalling dynamics. In this review we discuss the inclusion of ECM as a central regulatory signalling sub-network in computational models of cellular decision making, with a focus on its role in diseases such as cancer.

Type Journal
ISBN 1476-5381 (Electronic) 0007-1188 (Linking)
Authors Hastings, J. F.; Skhinas, J. N.; Fey, D.; Croucher, D. R.; Cox, T. R.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Thomas Cox
Published Date 2019-01-01
Published Volume 176
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 82-92
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1111/bph.14195
URL link to publisher's version