Role of the extracellular matrix in regulating stem cell fate

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Aug;14(8):467-73. doi: 10.1038/nrm3620. Epub 2013 Jul 10.


The field of stem cells and regenerative medicine offers considerable promise as a means of delivering new treatments for a wide range of diseases. In order to maximize the effectiveness of cell-based therapies - whether stimulating expansion of endogenous cells or transplanting cells into patients - it is essential to understand the environmental (niche) signals that regulate stem cell behaviour. One of those signals is from the extracellular matrix (ECM). New technologies have offered insights into how stem cells sense signals from the ECM and how they respond to these signals at the molecular level, which ultimately regulate their fate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / genetics
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fluidity / genetics
  • Membrane Fluidity / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Stem Cell Niche / genetics
  • Stem Cell Niche / physiology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / physiology*