Cells anchor to substrates by binding to extracellular matrix (ECM). In addition to this anchoring function however, cell-ECM binding is a mechanism for cells to sense their surroundings and to communicate and coordinate behaviour amongst themselves. Several ECM molecules and their receptors play essential roles in muscle development and maintenance. Defects in these proteins are responsible for some of the most severe muscle dystrophies at every stage of life from neonates to adults. However, recent studies have also revealed a role of cell-ECM interactions at much earlier stages of development as skeletal muscle forms. Here we review which ECM molecules are present during the early phases of myogenesis, how myogenic cells interact with the ECM that surrounds them and the potential consequences of those interactions. We conclude that cell-ECM interactions play significant roles during all stages of skeletal muscle development in the embryo and suggest that this "extracellular matrix dimension" should be added to our conceptual network of factors contributing to skeletal myogenesis. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|