Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Basement Membranes reviews the knowledge about the molecular and cellular aspects of basement membranes. This book focuses on the composition of basement membranes and their organization in extracellular matrices and presents a structural analysis of the various components of the basement membrane. The importance of basement membranes with respect to cell-matrix interactions, differentiation, and pathology is also considered.
This text is organized into three sections and is comprised of 20 chapters. It begins with historical perspectives and an overview of the extracellular matrix in general and the basement membrane in particular. The discussion then turns to the organization of basement membrane components into a three-dimensional and functional matrix, along with the unique characteristics of basement membranes in skin, nerve, and kidney. The reader is also introduced to the specificity of particular basement membranes in particular histological sites; the molecular characteristics of basement membrane collagens, laminins, and proteoglycans; and the interaction of specific peptide domains of basement membrane components with cell surface receptors. Finally, the book explains how subtle changes in basement membrane composition or protein structure can cause dramatic pathology.
This book will be of value to cell biologists, molecular biologists, biochemists, and pathologists.