Matricellular proteins as regulators of cancer metastasis to bone

Academic Article


  • Metastasis is the major cause of death in cancer patients, and a frequent site of metastasis for many cancers is the bone marrow. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying the metastatic process is necessary for future prevention and treatment. The tumor microenvironment is now known to play a role in the metastatic cascade, both at the primary tumor and in metastatic sites, and includes both cellular and non-cellular components. The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural support and signaling cues to cells. One particular group of molecules associated with the ECM, known as matricellular proteins, modulate multiple aspects of tumor biology, including growth, migration, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis. These proteins are also important for normal function in the bone by regulating bone formation and bone resorption. Recent studies have described a link between some of these proteins and metastasis of various tumors to the bone. The aim of this review is to summarize what is currently known about matricellular protein influence on bone metastasis. Particular attention to the contribution of both tumor cells and non-malignant cells in the bone has been given.
  • Published In

  • Matrix Biology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18487506
  • Author List

  • Trotter TN; Yang Y
  • Start Page

  • 301
  • End Page

  • 314
  • Volume

  • 52-54