Elastic fibres

J Cell Sci. 2002 Jul 15;115(Pt 14):2817-28. doi: 10.1242/jcs.115.14.2817.


Elastic fibres are essential extracellular matrix macromolecules comprising an elastin core surrounded by a mantle of fibrillin-rich microfibrils. They endow connective tissues such as blood vessels, lungs and skin with the critical properties of elasticity and resilience. The biology of elastic fibres is complex because they have multiple components, a tightly regulated developmental deposition, a multi-step hierarchical assembly and unique biomechanical functions. However, their molecular complexity is at last being unravelled by progress in identifying interactions between component molecules, ultrastructural analyses and studies of informative mouse models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Elastic Tissue / metabolism*
  • Elastic Tissue / ultrastructure
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • Elastin / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure
  • Fibrillins
  • Humans
  • Microfibrils / metabolism*
  • Microfibrils / ultrastructure
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Microfilament Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Models, Animal
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology


  • Fibrillins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Elastin