Many proteins of the extracellular matrix interact with cells primarily via cell surface integrin family receptors. The resulting focal adhesions or focal contacts are important for the maintenance of tissue architecture and for supporting a variety of cellular processes. ECM protein/integrin binding may initiate a complex network of signal transduction cascades that, depending on the context, play an important role in cell spreading, migration, proliferation, and differentiation during embryogenesis, wound healing, and tumor development.
Figure 1. R&D Systems Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Protein Coated Plate assay template (left). As indicated by text in wells, rows A and H are left uncoated to serve as controls, and rows B through G are coated with ECM protein. The entire plate is then blocked with 1% Bovine Serum Albumin Fraction V (BSA). In this assay, cells were either unstimulated (burgundy) or stimulated (orange) with 10 ng/mL PMA for 30 minutes and applied to R&D Systems Human Fibronectin Coated Plates (Catalog # CWP001) in the pattern shown. Cells were labeled with calcein-AM and adhesion to the plates was measured as a percentage of total cells applied (right). All bars depict average and standard error values obtained from three plates.
Cultrex® Basement Membrane Extract is a soluble basement membrane extract of the Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) tumor that gels at 37° C to form a reconstituted basement membrane. It consists of laminin I, type IV collagen, entactin, and heparin sulfate proteoglycan. Cultrex Basement Membrane Extract can be used to promote and maintain a differentiated phenotype of cell cultures such as epithelial cells, endothelial cells, glandular cells, neurons, and smooth muscle cells. It has been employed in assays evaluating angiogenesis, tumor cell invasion, and tumorigenicity.
Figure 1. Capillary Formation. SVEC4-10 cells incubated 24 hours at 37° C with 5% FBS and Cultrex BME.
Figure 2. Rat aortic ring assay. Rat aorta incubated 6 days at 37° C with 10% FBS and Cultrex BME.