Adhesion of Cells to Extracellular Cell Matrix
You know that the cells in order to move or change shape, adhere to each other or to the substratum in their environment. Usually the cells adhere to complex environmental surfaces made up of molecules found in extracellular matrix. Such molecules are known as extracellular matrix molecules or ECM molecules. These molecules are secreted in spaces between cells and assemble into a meshwork. A number of molecules can form a dense sheet on the basal surface of epithelial cells called basal lamina.
The ECM molecules are capable of self-aggregation or self- assembly and therefore are able to form the extracellular matrix. Proteoglycans, collagens and certain other glycoprotein related to the category of ECM molecules. The binding of cells to extracellular matrix is mediated by receptor proteins located in the plasma membrane. Receptor proteins which mediate adhesion to various ECM molecules have also been isolated.