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The extracellular matrix is an intricate and essential network of proteins and nonproteinaceous components that provide a conducive microenvironment for cells to regulate cell function, differentiation, and survival. Fibronectin is one key component in the extracellular matrix that participates in determining cell fate and function crucial for normal vertebrate development. Fibronectin undergoes time-dependent expression patterns during stem cell differentiation, providing a unique stem cell niche. Mutations in fibronectin have been recently identified to cause a rare form of skeletal dysplasia with scoliosis and abnormal growth plates. Even though fibronectin has been extensively analyzed in developmental processes, the functional role and importance of this protein and its various isoforms in skeletal development remain less understood. This review attempts to provide a concise and critical overview of the role of fibronectin isoforms in cartilage and bone physiology and associated pathologies. This will facilitate a better understanding of the possible mechanisms through which fibronectin exerts its regulatory role on cellular differentiation during skeletal development. The review discusses the consequences of mutations in fibronectin leading to corner fracture type spondylometaphyseal dysplasia and presents a new outlook toward matrix-mediated molecular pathways in relation to therapeutic and clinical relevance.


Neha E H Dinesh, Philippe M Campeau, Dieter P Reinhardt. Fibronectin isoforms in skeletal development and associated disorders. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 2022 Aug 01;323(2):C536-C549

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PMID: 35759430

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