The extracellular matrix (ECM) consists of interstitial connective tissue and basement membrane (BM). The ECM acts as a backbone for cells and provides a physical barrier. It also influences such functions as cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration, gene expression, and tissue integrity.
ECM also plays a profound role in tissue injury and healing. The detection of ECM components in various parts of the body provides an efficient tool for following malignant change, invasion and metastasis.
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