The Regulating Role of Glycocalix.
In the most exciting exploration of the biophysical function and properties of glycocalix, the authors developed an integrated biochemical and mechanical model that incorporates integrins, the extracellular matrix, the cell membrane and the glycocalix. Submission of this model to controlled variations (use of glycopolymers of different lengths,….) and a series of computational modelling and detailed biochemical and pharmacological investigations, established three essential features : (i) The regulation of integrin assembly by bulky glycoproteins, (ii) Bulky glycoproteins exert force on integrin bonds ; (iii) Bulky glycoproteins promote growth and survival, which set the foundation of establishing a new paradigm for the biological function of cell surface glycans and glycoproteins.
These physical properties of the glycocalix components, and their interacting macromolecular partners, regulate the clustering of cell-surface receptors and affect intracellular signaling in ways that can contribute to cancer metastasis.