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Bioessays. 1995 Oct;17(10):873-8.

The complexity in regulating the expression of tenascins.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland.


The tenascins are a growing family of extracellular matrix proteins of typical multidomain structure. The prototype to be discovered was tenascin-C. It shows a highly regulated expression pattern during embryonic development and is often transiently associated with morphogenetic tissue interactions during organogenesis. In the adult organism reexpression of tenascin-C occurs in tumors and many other pathological conditions. Tenascin-C expression can be regulated by many different growth factors and hormones. Furthermore, mechanical strain exerted by fibroblasts seems to induce the expression of tenascin-C. This could represent a mechanism of translating mechanical forces into protein patterns, a step of potential relevance in the organization of embryogenesis. Tenascin-C as well as tenascin-R are believed to counteract the cell adhesion and spreading activity of fibronectin, thereby facilitating cell movement.

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