Extracellular matrices in health and disease

What is a matrix?

According to the Wachowski brothers’ “The Matrix” film trilogy, a matrix is a slick cyberspace that computer hackers inhabit. For biochemists, it is a far more dazzling structure than that. In this ASBMB annual meeting symposium, experts on extracellular matrices will enlighten us about how proteases and kinases control extracellular matrix structure and function as well as how the extracellular matrix regulates stem-cell niches, growth factor and integrin function, and cell and tissue behavior in development and disease.

Secret liaisons between growth factors and integrins exposed

The first session will examine how growth factors and integrins interact with specific ECM components and with each other. Emerging studies show that interactions between the ECM and growth factors can be tailored to achieve specific cellular responses.

The good (development), the bad (disease) and the matrix

In the second session, new information on the impact of mutations in ECM components in human development and disease will be presented along with studies on novel ECM components that affect development and disease.

Matrix makeovers: cells, proteases and kinases

The third session will focus on recent developments in understanding interactions between the ECM and growth factors as well as how cells use proteases and kinases to modify the ECM during development and disease.

The right niche makes a great matrix

The final session will present innovative approaches being used to reveal new mechanisms by which cells generate and respond to the ECM niches during development and in disease. Investigations that incorporate mechanical cues and the 3-D microenvironment will receive emphasis.
Jeffrey Gorski
Karen Lyons
Organizers: Jeff Gorski, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry, and Karen Lyons, University of California, Los Angeles