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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;36(6):1126-34.

Functional regulation of T lymphocytes by modulatory extracellular matrix proteins.

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Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Room 2A33, Building 10, 10 Center Drive MSC1500, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


In addition to the major structural molecules, which are constitutively present in extracellular matrices, several proteins appear in the extracellular matrix only at specific stages in development or in association with specific pathological conditions. These proteins include thrombospondin-1 and -2, tenascin C, osteopontin, members of the cysteine-rich 61/connective tissue growth factor/nephroblastoma overexpressed family, and secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (osteonectin). These proteins play important roles in regulating cell fate during development and in the pathogenesis of several diseases in adult animals. We will review the interactions of T cells with this class of molecules and their resulting effects on T cell behavior. Receptors and signal transduction pathways that mediate the actions of matricellular proteins on T cells are beginning to be defined. Transgenic mice are providing new insights into the functions of these proteins in vivo and are yielding insights into the significance of their reported dysregulation in several human diseases.

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