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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2010 Mar;48(3):544-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.06.018. Epub 2009 Jul 3.

Cardiac extracellular matrix remodeling: fibrillar collagens and Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC).

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Division of Cardiology, Dept. of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA.


The cardiac interstitium is a unique and adaptable extracellular matrix (ECM) that provides a milieu in which myocytes, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells communicate and function. The composition of the ECM in the heart includes structural proteins such as fibrillar collagens and matricellular proteins that modulate cell:ECM interaction. Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC), a collagen-binding matricellular protein, serves a key role in collagen assembly into the ECM. Recent results demonstrated increased cardiac rupture, dysfunction and mortality in SPARC-null mice in response to myocardial infarction that was associated with a decreased capacity to generate organized, mature collagen fibers. In response to pressure overload induced-hypertrophy, the decrease in insoluble collagen incorporation in the left ventricle of SPARC-null hearts was coincident with diminished ventricular stiffness in comparison to WT mice with pressure overload. This review will focus on the role of SPARC in the regulation of interstitial collagen during cardiac remodeling following myocardial infarction and pressure overload with a discussion of potential cellular mechanisms that control SPARC-dependent collagen assembly in the heart.

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