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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2006 Nov;63(21):2435-45.

Perlecan: how does one molecule do so many things?

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Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Level 5, Samuels Bldg, Kensington, New South Wales, 2052, Australia.


Perlecan is a large multi-domain extracellular matrix proteoglycan that plays a crucial role in tissue development and organogenesis. In vertebrates, perlecan functions in a diverse range of developmental and biological processes, from the establishment of cartilage to the regulation of wound healing. How can a single molecule modulate such a wide variety of processes? We suggest that perlecan employs the same basic mechanism, based on interactions with growth factors, morphogens and matrix proteins, to regulate each of these processes and that the local extracellular environment determines the function of perlecan and consequently its downstream effects on the structure and function of the organ. We discuss this hypothesis in relation to its role in three major vertebrate developmental processes: angiogenesis, chondrogenesis and endochondral ossification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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