Tenascins and the importance of adhesion modulation

Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann, Richard P Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Tenascins are a family of extracellular matrix proteins that evolved in early chordates. There are four family members: tenascin-X, tenascin-R, tenascin-W, and tenascin-C. Tenascin-X associates with type I collagen, and its absence can cause Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. In contrast, tenascin-R is concentrated in perineuronal nets. The expression of tenascin-C and tenascin-W is developmentally regulated, and both are expressed during disease (e.g., both are associated with cancer stroma and tumor blood vessels). In addition, tenascin- C is highly induced by infections and inflammation. Accordingly, the tenascin-C knockout mouse has a reduced inflammatory response. All tenascins have the potential to modify cell adhesion either directly or through interaction with fibronectin, and celltenascin interactions typically lead to increased cell motility. In the case of tenascin-C, there is a correlation between elevated expression and increased metastasis in several types of tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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