The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 511 - 525 (2011)

Vol 55, Issue 4-5

Special Issue: Angiogenesis in Development & Cancer

Fibronectin and tenascin-C: accomplices in vascular morphogenesis during development and tumor growth

Open Access | Review | Published: 12 July 2011

Ellen Van Obberghen-Schilling*,1,2, Richard P. Tucker3, Falk Saupe4, Isabelle Gasser4, Botond Cseh1,2, Gertraud Orend*,4,5,6

1CNRS UMR6543, IBDC, Nice, France, 2University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France, 3Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California at Davis, USA, 4Inserm U682, Strasbourg, France, 5University of Strasbourg, UMR-S682, Strasbourg, France and 6Department of Molecular Biology, CHRU Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France


In addition to soluble factors, the extracellular matrix (ECM) also plays a vital role in normal vasculogenesis and in the pathological angiogenesis of many disease states. Here we will review what is known about the role of the ECM molecules fibronectin and tenascin-C in the vasculature and highlight a potential collaborative interplay between these molecules in developmental and tumorigenic angiogenesis. We will address the evolution of these modular proteins, their cellular interactions and how they become assembled into an insoluble matrix that impacts the assembly of other ECM proteins and the bioavailability of pro-angiogenic factors. The role of fibronectin and tenascin-C networks in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis will be described. We will elaborate on lessons learned about their role in vessel function from the functional ablation or the ectopic expression of both molecules. We will also elaborate on potential mechanisms of how fibronectin and tenascin-C affect cell adhesion and signaling that are relevant to angiogenesis.


tumor angiogenesis, matrix assembly, fibronectin, tenascin-C

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