Extracellular Matrix and Cell Dynamics MEDyC

Unit Presentation

Welcome to the website of the MEDyC (Matrice Extracelllulaire et Dynamique Cellulaire, Extracellular Matrix and Cell Dynamics) Research Unit

MEDyC was created in January 2008, under the joint supervision of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and CNRS (UMR CNRS / URCA N° 7369) by a merger of two pre-existing Research Units. It is totally transdisciplinary since it associates biologists, biophysicists, computer and physical chemists for a transversal approach to biological phenomena.
The scientific project of the Research Unit is fully centered on a post-genomic approach of the interactions between cells and extracellular matrix, applied to the decryption of the mechanisms that contribute to (i) modulation of tumor progression and (ii) aging of the extracellular matrix, a "niche" for the development of degenerative diseases, especially in the arterial wall.

As regard the modulation of tumor progression, we focus on the role of extracellular matrix remodeling by proteolytic enzymes. This is actually a phenomenon essential for the invasion of surrounding tissues by cancer cells. It is also able to generate the release of peptides called matrikines, that regulate many functions of both tumor and stromal cells and realize a full extracellular "signalome". Using several in vivo and in vitro models, we study the mechanisms involved in these phenomena and their involvement in the control of tumor progression.
Regarding aging, we focus on extracellular matrix aging in the large vessels due to (i) non-enzymatic late post-translational modifications of proteins (glycoxidation and carbamylation), particularly in some pathophysiological contexts (diabetes mellitus or chronic renal failure) and (ii) increased matrix proteolysis, leading to the fragmentation of elastin, the release of matrikines, and functional disorders arising therefrom (increased vascular stiffness, calcifications, atherosclerotic and thrombotic lesions). Using several in vivo and in vitro models, we characterize the mechanisms involved in the vascular remodeling related to aging and associated pathologies.