Fibrillin microfibrils and proteases, key integrators of fibrotic pathways

Zigrino P, Sengle G

Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2018 Apr;

PMID: 29709492


Supramolecular networks composed of multi-domain ECM proteins represent intricate cellular microenvironments which are required to balance tissue homeostasis and direct remodeling. Structural deficiency in ECM proteins results in imbalances in ECM-cell communication resulting often times in fibrotic reactions. To understand how individual components of the ECM integrate communication with the cell surface by presenting growth factors or providing fine-tuned biomechanical properties is mandatory for gaining a better understanding of disease mechanisms in the quest for new therapeutic approaches. Here we provide an overview about what we can learn from inherited connective tissue disorders caused primarily by mutations in fibrillin-1 and binding partners as well as by altered ECM processing leading to defined structural changes and similar functional knock-in mouse models. We will utilize this knowledge to propose new molecular hypotheses which should be tested in future studies.

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