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Matrix Biol. 2000 Dec;19(7):597-614.

The cell biology of thrombospondin-1.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis, Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Research North, Rm. 270C, 99 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is a matricellular protein that regulates cellular phenotype during tissue genesis and repair. It acts as a molecular facilitator by bringing together cytokines, growth factors, matrix components, membrane receptors and extracellular proteases. TSP-1 binds to a wide variety of integrin and non-integrin cell surface receptors. The binding sites for these receptors on TSP-1 are dispersed throughout the molecule, with most domains binding multiple receptors. In some cases, TSP-1 binds to multiple receptors concurrently, and recent data indicate that there is cross-talk between the receptor systems. Thus, TSP-1 may function to direct the clustering of receptors to specialized domains for adhesion and signal transduction.

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