Concepts of extracellular matrix remodelling in tumour progression and metastasis

Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 9;11(1):5120. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18794-x.


Tissues are dynamically shaped by bidirectional communication between resident cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) through cell-matrix interactions and ECM remodelling. Tumours leverage ECM remodelling to create a microenvironment that promotes tumourigenesis and metastasis. In this review, we focus on how tumour and tumour-associated stromal cells deposit, biochemically and biophysically modify, and degrade tumour-associated ECM. These tumour-driven changes support tumour growth, increase migration of tumour cells, and remodel the ECM in distant organs to allow for metastatic progression. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of tumourigenic ECM remodelling is crucial for developing therapeutic treatments for patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment