Interplay between Cell-Surface Receptors and Extracellular Matrix in Skin

Biomolecules. 2020 Aug 11;10(8):1170. doi: 10.3390/biom10081170.


Skin consists of the epidermis and dermis, which are connected by a specialized basement membrane-the epidermal basement membrane. Both the epidermal basement membrane and the underlying interstitial extracellular matrix (ECM) created by dermal fibroblasts contain distinct network-forming macromolecules. These matrices play various roles in order to maintain skin homeostasis and integrity. Within this complex interplay of cells and matrices, cell surface receptors play essential roles not only for inside-out and outside-in signaling, but also for establishing mechanical and biochemical properties of skin. Already minor modulations of this multifactorial cross-talk can lead to severe and systemic diseases. In this review, major epidermal and dermal cell surface receptors will be addressed with respect to their interactions with matrix components as well as their roles in fibrotic, inflammatory or tumorigenic skin diseases.

Keywords: CD44; EGFR; TGFβR; integrin; proteoglycan; skin; syndecan.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface