Role of extracellular matrix proteoglycans in immune cell recruitment

Anna L Gray, Nabina Pun, Amanda J L Ridley, Douglas P Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leucocyte recruitment is a critical component of the immune response and is central to our ability to fight infection. Paradoxically, leucocyte recruitment is also a central component of inflammatory-based diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and cancer. The role of the extracellular matrix, in particular proteoglycans, in this process has been largely overlooked. Proteoglycans consist of protein cores with glycosaminoglycan sugar side chains attached. Proteoglycans have been shown to bind and regulate the function of a number of proteins, for example chemokines, and also play a key structural role in the local tissue environment/niche. Whilst they have been implicated in leucocyte recruitment and inflammatory disease, their mechanistic function has yet to be fully understood, precluding therapeutic targeting. This review summarizes what is currently known about the role of proteoglycans in the different stages of leucocyte recruitment and proposes a number of areas where more research is needed. A better understanding of the mechanistic role of proteoglycans during inflammatory disease will inform the development of next-generation therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Experimental Pathology
Early online date25 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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