Regulation of the Extracellular Matrix by Heat Shock Proteins and Molecular Chaperones

  • Natasha Marie-Eraine Boel
  • Adrienne Lesley Edkins


The extracellular matrix (ECM) serves as a scaffold for cells within tissues and is composed of an intricate network of glycoproteins, growth factors and matricellular proteins which cooperatively function in cell processes such as migration, adhesion and wound healing. ECM morphology is constantly undergoing remodelling (synthesis, assembly and degradation) during normal cell processes and when deregulated may contribute to disease. Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are involved in regulating processes that determine the assembly and degradation of the ECM at multiple levels, in both normal and diseased states. These roles include mediating the activation of ECM-degrading enzymes, maintaining matrix stability and clearing aggregated/misfolded proteins. Hsp may serve as chaperones and receptors or have cytokine-like functions. In this chapter, we review how Hsp90, Hsp70, Hsp40 and a number of ER resident chaperones contribute to ECM regulation. The role of the non-Hsp chaperones, SPARC and clusterin in the ECM is also discussed.


Extracellular matrix Chaperone Hsp90 Hsp70 Hsp40 sHsp 



This work is based on the research supported by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant No 98566), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), and Rhodes University. NMEB was supported with a postgraduate fellowship from the National Research Foundation. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the DST, NRF, CANSA, SAMRC or Rhodes University. We apologise if we have inadvertently omitted any important contributions to the field.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natasha Marie-Eraine Boel
    • 1
  • Adrienne Lesley Edkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Biotechnology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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