# Fibronectin and stem cell differentiation - lessons from chondrogenesis

## Author(s): Singh, P; Schwarzbauer, Jean E

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 Abstract: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is an intricate network of proteins that surrounds cells and has a central role in establishing an environment that is conducive to tissue-specific cell functions. In the case of stem cells, this environment is the stem cell niche, where ECM signals participate in cell fate decisions. In this Commentary, we describe how changes in ECM composition and mechanical properties can affect cell shape and stem cell differentiation. Using chondrogenic differentiation as a model, we examine the changes in the ECM that occur before and during mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. In particular, we focus on the main ECM protein fibronectin, its temporal expression pattern during chondrogenic differentiation, its potential effects on functions of differentiating chondrocytes, and how its interactions with other ECM components might affect cartilage development. Finally, we discuss data that support the possibility that the fibronectin matrix has an instructive role in directing cells through the condensation, proliferation and/or differentiation stages of cartilage formation. Publication Date: 15-Aug-2012 Electronic Publication Date: 12-Sep-2012 Citation: Singh, P, Schwarzbauer, JE. (2012). Fibronectin and stem cell differentiation - lessons from chondrogenesis. Journal of Cell Science, 125 (16), 3703 - 3712. doi:10.1242/jcs.095786 DOI: doi:10.1242/jcs.095786 ISSN: 0021-9533 EISSN: 1477-9137 Pages: 3703 - 3712 Type of Material: Journal Article Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Cell Science Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.