Cell migration is essential throughout our lives, from early embryonic development to homeostasis through our adult lives. However, cell migration needs to be controlled and aberrant cell migration can have severe clinical consequences, including cancer. It has been reported that stiff tissues result in more aggressive cancer development than soft tissues, meaning that the composition of our tissues, including the extracellular matrix has a profound effect on our susceptibility to cancer. Using your understanding of lectures 29-33, what components and properties of extracellular matrix affect tissue stiffness and what properties of cell behaviour are likely to be affected by that stiffness. (No more than 400 words)
To begin with, the extracellular matrix is a complex network collected of a range of unchanging composite, which contributes to the mechanical features of tissues. The main components comprise proteoglycans, elastin, collagens, and cell-binding.
The extracellular matrix includes principally polysaccharide and protein components. However, the forms of the extracellular matrix are notably different in biochemical, biophysical, and topological features. The exact composition of the extracellular matrix is often tissue-specific, dynamic, and answerable for its exceptional physical features for instance pore size, topography, fiber orientation and size, stiffness or elasticity and ligand density, and chemical features of each tissue.
Lastly, the physical features of the extracellular matrix are stiffness. Here, it offers regulatory information to cells. Additionally, the extracellular matrix gives signaling information through its particular biochemical composition and the local concentrations of its parts. Therefore, increases tissue tensile strength and matrix stiffness, affecting thereby cellular behaviors.