, Volume 339, Issue 1, pp 1-5
Date: 10 Nov 2009

Cell interactions with the extracellular matrix

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The idea of a special issue on cell interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a result of the increasing awareness about the integral functions of the ECM in virtually all dynamic processes of development, maintenance, reconstruction and disease. The purpose of this special issue is not to present a comprehensive overview of all macromolecules that form the ECM and their interacting cellular receptors, as many excellent reviews and monographs have been published recently on this topic (Myllyharju and Kivirikko 2004; Kadler et al. 2007; Bateman et al. 2009). Rather, it is the guest editors´ objective to present recent advances in ECM-cell interactions as seen from the perspective of dynamic cell performances during development and in various disease states.

The importance of ECM biology and pathology is immediately recognised when thinking of the extent to which ECM molecules and their cellular receptors are involved in diseases. A wide range of diseases, initially ...