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Review Article

Biology of Tenascin C and its Role in Physiology and Pathology

[ Vol. 31 , Issue. 19 ]


Malihehsadat Abedsaeidi, Farzaneh Hojjati, Amin Tavassoli and Amirhossein Sahebkar*   Pages 2706 - 2731 ( 26 )


Tenascin-C (TNC) is a multimodular extracellular matrix (ECM) protein hexameric with several molecular forms (180-250 kDa) produced by alternative splicing at the pre-mRNA level and protein modifications. The molecular phylogeny indicates that the amino acid sequence of TNC is a well-conserved protein among vertebrates. TNC has binding partners, including fibronectin, collagen, fibrillin-2, periostin, proteoglycans, and pathogens. Various transcription factors and intracellular regulators tightly regulate TNC expression. TNC plays an essential role in cell proliferation and migration. Unlike embryonic tissues, TNC protein is distributed over a few tissues in adults. However, higher TNC expression is observed in inflammation, wound healing, cancer, and other pathological conditions. It is widely expressed in a variety of human malignancies and is recognized as a pivotal factor in cancer progression and metastasis. Moreover, TNC increases both pro-and anti-inflammatory signaling pathways. It has been identified as an essential factor in tissue injuries such as damaged skeletal muscle, heart disease, and kidney fibrosis. This multimodular hexameric glycoprotein modulates both innate and adaptive immune responses regulating the expression of numerous cytokines. Moreover, TNC is an important regulatory molecule that affects the onset and progression of neuronal disorders through many signaling pathways. We provide a comprehensive overview of the structural and expression properties of TNC and its potential functions in physiological and pathological conditions.


Tenascin-C, extracellular matrix, cell migration, interaction, pathogens, pre-mRNA.


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