BIOL 2520 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Cell Adhesion Molecule, Type I Collagen, Yolk Sac

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Lecture 8 cell interactions: the extracellular matrix. Cells are in contact with each other and their immediate surroundings. In multicellular organisms, cells make contact with other cells and/or an extracellular matrix (ecm) In some tissues, the ecm is a thin layer between tightly packed cells: often used to hold cells close to each other. In other tissues, the ecm is a thick layer of material to cushion or protect cells. The appearance of multicellular organisms allows specialization of cells and formation of organs. Vertebrates have more than 100 specialized cell types: plants have more than 15. Ecm also binds cells together: acts as a reservoir for growth factors and hormones, creates an environment in which molecules and cells can migrate. Tissues in animals are not just made of cells: they also contain significant quantities of extracellular space, an extensive ecm may be secreted into said space. Plants and fungi (and bacteria) also have an ecm: these are called walls .

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