Extracellular microfibrils: contextual platforms for TGFβ and BMP signaling

Francesco Ramirez, Daniel B. Rifkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


The extracellular matrix plays a key role in organ formation and tissue homeostasis. Recent studies have revealed that fibrillin assemblies (microfibrils) confer both tissue integrity and regulate signaling events that instruct cell performance and that perturbation of either function manifests in disease. These analyses have also indicated that fibrillin assemblies impart contextual specificity to TGFβ and BMP signaling. Moreover, correlative evidence suggests functional coupling between cell-directed assembly of microfibrils and targeting of TGFβ and BMP complexes to fibrillins. Hence, the emerging view is that fibrillin-rich microfibrils are molecular integrators of structural and instructive signals with TGFβs and BMPs as nodal points that convert extracellular inputs into discrete and context-dependent cellular responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-622
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


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