Death in the third dimension: apoptosis regulation and tissue architecture.

TitleDeath in the third dimension: apoptosis regulation and tissue architecture.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsZahir N, Weaver VM
JournalCurr Opin Genet Dev
Date Published2004 Feb
KeywordsApoptosis, Cell Adhesion, Cell Culture Techniques, Extracellular Matrix, Gene Expression Regulation, Homeostasis, Models, Biological

Tissue development, homeostasis and tumor pathogenesis all depend upon a complex dialogue between multiple cell types operating within a dynamic three-dimensional (3D) tissue extracellular matrix microenvironment. A major issue is whether the spatial organization of a cell within this 3D tissue microenvironment could modulate cell responsiveness to regulate cell fate decisions such as survival, and if so how. Classic developmental model systems and transgenic animals are instructive but pose special challenges for investigators conducting signaling studies and biochemical assays in tissues. As an alternative, 3D culture model systems exist in which cell-adhesion dependent tissue architecture, heterotypic cell-cell interactions and tissue differentiation can be recapitulated with good fidelity. 3D cell culture models are slowly revealing how tissue architecture can dramatically influence how a cell responds to exogenous stimuli to modify its apoptotic behavior and hence should prove instrumental for identifying novel cell death pathways.

Alternate JournalCurr. Opin. Genet. Dev.
PubMed ID15108808
Grant ListCA 78731 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
T32 HL07954-03 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States