Basement membrane proteoglycans: from cellar to ceiling

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Aug;6(8):646-56. doi: 10.1038/nrm1702.


The biology of basement membrane proteoglycans extends far beyond the original notion of anionic filters. These complex molecules have dual roles as structural constituents of basement membranes and functional regulators of several growth-factor signalling pathways. As such, they are involved in angiogenesis and, consequently, in tumour progression and their partial or total absence causes several congenital defects that affect the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and nervous systems. New findings indicate a potential functional coupling between the intricate make-up of basement membrane proteoglycans and their ability to control important biological processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism*
  • Collagen Type XVIII / chemistry
  • Collagen Type XVIII / genetics
  • Collagen Type XVIII / metabolism*
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / chemistry
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / genetics
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Collagen Type XVIII
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • perlecan