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Int J Exp Pathol. 2009 Apr;90(2):95-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2613.2008.00637.x.

Back to basics--how the evolution of the extracellular matrix underpinned vertebrate evolution.

Author information

1
Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. julie.x.huxley-jones@gsk.com

Abstract

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex substrate that is involved in and influences a spectrum of behaviours such as growth and differentiation and is the basis for the structure of tissues. Although a characteristic of all metazoans, the ECM has elaborated into a variety of tissues unique to vertebrates, such as bone, tendon and cartilage. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular evolution of the ECM. Furthermore, we demonstrate that ECM genes represent a pivotal family of proteins the evolution of which appears to have played an important role in the evolution of vertebrates.

PMID:
19335547
PMCID:
PMC2676697
DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-2613.2008.00637.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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