The interactions of cells with one another and with extracellular materials (matrices, solid surfaces, etc) are of vital importance for cell function. These interactions have major effects on the proliferation, differentiation, and organization of cells. Our understanding of these interactions of cells has advanced considerably in recent years, and it is now clear that they are often mediated by a class of high molecular weight glycoproteins that are involved both in these interactions and in the actual structure of extracellular matrices. The most intensively studied of these glycoproteins is fibronectin (FN), but there is a set of proteins with analogous properties (laminin, von Willebrand protein, thrombospondin, vitronectin, etc), the analysis of which is also progressing apace. I do not review here the extensive literature on the distributions and functions of these proteins, which has been covered in several recent reviews (Hynes & Yamada 1982; Furcht 1983; Yamada 1983; Mosher 1984; Yamada & Akiyama 1984). Instead, I concentrate on recent work on the primary structure and molecular genetics of these 0743-4634/85/1115-0067$02.00 67 HYNES proteins, in particular FN, and discuss the insights this work gives into their structureÂ·function relationships, and the way in which molecular biological approaches open the way
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 1, 1985
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