Fibronectins pp 281-300 | Cite as

Development and Differentiation

  • Richard O. Hynes
Part of the Springer Series in Molecular Biology book series (SSMOL)


The preceding chapter addressed the question of cell migration in development. In this chapter I will discuss the possible roles of FN in other aspects of development. These fall into two major categories: morphogenesis and differentiation. The effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) in general and FN in particular on cell adhesion, cell shape, and cytoskeletal organization suggest a likely role in the behavior of individual cells and cell sheets. Thus, it is widely assumed that FN may play a role in tissue morphogenesis. In addition to the known effects on cell migration, one can suggest roles in cell polarization, folding and organization of epithelial sheets, condensation and segregation of tissue masses, and stabilization of tissue organization. A second major function suggested for ECM during development is in inhibiting, promoting, or stabilizing tissue-specific differentiation, which I use to mean expression of specific gene products. There is a growing body of evidence that ECM, including FN, can affect gene expression by specific cell types (see Section 11.2).


Integrin Receptor Matrix Molecule Epithelial Sheet Apical Ectodermal Ridge Segmental Plate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard O. Hynes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyHoward Hughes Medical Institute and Center for Cancer ResearchCambridgeUSA

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