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Matrix Elasticity, Cytoskeletal Tension, and TGF-{beta}: The Insoluble and Soluble Meet

Soluble growth factors are potent regulators of normal and pathological processes. Mechanical factors are emerging as similarly important, but there has been no obvious mechanism linking the different factors. A recent report now demonstrates that cell-generated mechanical tension results in release of active transforming growth factor–β from stiff extracellular matrix, providing a mechanism for differentiation and maintenance of myofibroblasts in processes like fibrosis. More broadly, the work suggests that matrix stiffness could regulate the equilibrium between storage and release of a host of matrix-bound growth factors.

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Resource Type: Bibliography, Diagram, Illustration, Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Rebecca G. Wells of Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dennis E. Discher of Biophysical Engineering Lab, University of Pennsylvania
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes


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