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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1999 Oct;11(5):634-40.

Extracellular matrix remodelling and cellular differentiation.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences University of Manchester 3.239 Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK.


The extracellular matrix is not merely a passive structure. In the past few years, it has emerged that the matrix is a dynamic action zone that functions to instruct cellular phenotype. Extracellular matrix proteins interact directly with cell surface receptors to initiate signal transduction pathways and to modulate those triggered by differentiation and growth factors. The extracellular matrix also controls the activity and presentation of a wide range of growth factors. Thus modulation of the extracellular matrix, by remodelling its structure and activity, has profound effects on its function and the consequent behaviour of cells residing on or within it.

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