Organization of different cell types and the extracellular matrix (ECM) into an intact tissue architecture is essential for tissue renewal and differentiation and can function as barrier to disease onset. Precise interactions between the different tissue components are needed to maintain tissue homeostasis, and alterations in this interplay can lead to complications in tissue regeneration or to hypertrophy and cancer.
We investigate how the composition and dynamics of basement membrane, a specialised form of ECM, are regulated during tissue development and how they are altered during tumorigenesis. We are especially interested in understanding the role of ECM in breast cancer initiation. To do this, we use organotypic models of human and mouse mammary epithelium and various imaging techniques to record the dynamic changes in ECM composition and tissue architecture.
Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE
P.O.Box 56 (Viikinkaari 5)
00014 University of Helsinki