Traversing the basement membrane in vivo: a diversity of strategies.
The basement membrane is a dense, highly cross-linked, sheet-like extracellular matrix that underlies all epithelia and endothelia in multicellular animals. During development, leukocyte trafficking, and metastatic disease, cells cross the basement membrane to disperse and enter new tissues. Based largely on in vitro studies, cells have been thought to use proteases to dissolve and traverse this formidable obstacle. Surprisingly, recent in vivo studies have uncovered a remarkably diverse range of cellular- and tissue-level strategies beyond proteolysis that cells use to navigate through the basement membrane. These fascinating and unexpected mechanisms have increased our understanding of how cells cross this matrix barrier in physiological and disease settings.
Kelley, LC; Lohmer, LL; Hagedorn, EJ; Sherwood, DR
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