Le CC, et al. Front Oncol 2020 - Review.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men and the third most commonly occurring in women worldwide. Interactions between cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) are involved in tumor development and progression of many types of cancer. The organization of the ECM molecules provides not only physical scaffoldings and dynamic network into which cells are embedded but also allows the control of many cellular behaviors including proliferation, migration,
differentiation, and survival leading to homeostasis and morphogenesis regulation. Modifications of ECM composition and mechanical properties during carcinogenesis are critical for tumor initiation and progression. The core matrisome consists of five classes of macromolecules, which are collagens, laminins, fibronectin, proteoglycans, and hyaluronans. In most tissues, fibrillar collagen is the major component of ECM. Cells embedded into fibrillar collagen interact with it through their surface receptors, such as integrins and discoidin domain receptors (DDRs). On the one hand, cells incorporate signals from ECM that modify their functionalities and behaviors. On the other hand, all cells within tumor environment (cancer cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and immune cells) synthesize and secrete matrix macromolecules under the control of multiple extracellular signals. This cell-ECM dialog participates in a dynamic way in ECM formation and its biophysical and biochemical properties. Here, we will review the functional interplay between cells and collagen network within the tumor microenvironment during colorectal cancer progression.