• The components of the extracellular space have well-recognized structural functions. The role of the matrix as a conduit and/or repository for signals, however, has received much less attention. Because we know that cells require contact with the extracellular matrix for their normal function, that intact matrix and/or fragments of matrix in either soluble or solid phase can effect significant changes in cellular physiology, and that matrix components can be integral membrane proteins, we conclude that a major function of the matrix is as a soluble and solid-phase agonist and receptor.
(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:706-708)
Trelstad RL. The Extracellular Matrix Is a Soluble and Solid-Phase Agonist and Receptor. Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(5):706-708. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670050050020