Basement membrane components are key players in specialized extracellular matrices

Kruegel J. and Miosge N.Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 2010

Basement membranes (BMs) are specialized extracellular matrices (sECMs) with unique components that support important functions including differentiation, proliferation, migration, and chemotaxis of cells during development. The composition of this sECM is as unique as the tissues to which they are localized, and changes in BM composition play significant roles in facilitating the development of various diseases. Furthermore, tissues have to provide sECM for their stem cells during development and for their adult life. Here, the authors briefly review the latest research on this unique sECM and their components with a special emphasis on embryonic and adult stem cells and their niches.