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Exp Cell Res. 2008 Aug 1;314(13):2477-87. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.05.020. Epub 2008 Jun 7.

The widely expressed extracellular matrix protein SMOC-2 promotes keratinocyte attachment and migration.

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Center for Biochemistry, University of Cologne, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 52, D-50931 Cologne, Germany.


SMOC-2 is a recently discovered member of the BM-40/SPARC/osteonectin family of extracellular multidomain proteins of so far unknown function. While we have shown earlier that the homologous protein SMOC-1 is associated with basement membranes, in this study we demonstrate that, in the mouse, SMOC-2 could be detected in a large number of non-basement membrane localizations, often showing a diffuse tissue distribution. A more distinct expression pattern was seen in skin where SMOC-2 is mainly present in the basal layers of the epidermis. Functionally, recombinant SMOC-2 stimulated attachment of primary epidermal cells as well as several epidermal-derived cell lines but had no effect on the attachment of non-epidermal cells. Inhibition experiments using blocking antibodies against individual integrin subunits allowed the identification of alphavbeta6 and alphavbeta1 integrins as important cellular receptors for SMOC-2. Cell attachment as well as the formation of focal adhesions could be attributed to the extracellular calcium-binding domain. The calcium-binding domain also stimulated migration, but not proliferation of keratinocyte-like HaCaT cells. We conclude that SMOC-2, like other members of the BM40/SPARC family, acts as a regulator of cell-matrix interactions.

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