Cardiovascular Research vol:64 issue:1 pages:24-31
Matricellular proteins are extracellular matrix proteins that modulate cell-matrix interactions and cell function, and do not seem to have a direct structural role. The family includes tenascin-C (TN-C), tenascin-X (TN-X), osteonectin, osteopontin, thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) and thrombospondin-2 (TSP2). Expression of matricellular proteins is high during embryogenesis, but almost absent during normal postnatal life. Interestingly, it re-appears in response to injury. Left ventricular remodeling is a complicated process that occurs in the stressed heart, and is still not completely understood. Several members of the matricellular protein family, like tenascin-C, osteopontin, and osteonectin are up-regulated after cardiac injury. Therefore, this group of proteins may have crucial functions in the heart coping with stress. This review will focus on the expression, regulation and function of these matricellular proteins, and will discuss the crucial functions that these proteins might exert during remodeling of the stressed heart.