PhenoTarget RCP seminar: Talking to the matrix

Talking to the matrix

Prof. Erik Danen, Division of Drug Discovery & Safety, LACDR, Leiden University, the Netherlands

Date: December 6

Time: 11:00

Venue: BMC Navet, entré C11, Husargatan 3, Uppsala. Meeting room:  Trippelrummet (E10:1309)

Cells in our body are in contact with the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM provides chemical and physical cues affecting all aspects of cell fate. Coupling the ECM glycoprotein network to the intracellular cytoskeletal network occurs in um-size “cell-matrix adhesions”. Here, transmembrane receptors of the integrin family are clustered to bind ECM proteins with their globular head domains and connect to the cytoskeleton through multi-protein interactions at their cytoplasmic tails. Cell-matrix adhesions are dynamic structures that sense and transmit biophysical cues in both directions across the membrane, providing mechanical homeostasis between cells and ECM. This allows mechanical properties of the ECM to impact on cell fate decisions and, vice versa, it allows cells to apply forces impacting on ECM network architecture. We have shown how cells can tune the spatiotemporal organization of force transmission by engaging distinct integrin receptors. hiPSC-derived pericytes, micropatterned surfaces, and micropillar arrays have been developed as a model to study mechanical interactions in blood vessels. We have investigated how tumors can manipulate their surrounding ECM network, how this may act as a remote mechanical cue to steer cells in their microenvironment, and we discovered mechanisms of tumorcell plasticity in strategies to navigate ECM.


Karin Forsberg-Nilsson

Jordi Carreras-Puigvert


Since this is a lunch seminar, sandwiches will be served after the seminar. Please fill in this form to both pre-order food as well as to organize one-to-one appointments with Prof. Danen, if interested.

Thank you very much in advance!