The Tissue Matrix and The Regulation of Gene Expression in Cancer Cells

Kenneth J. Pienta, Brian C. Murphy, Robert H. Getzenberg, Donald S. Coffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Several investigators have proposed that the tissue matrix system can interact with the genome and affect gene expression. The most unique way of theoretically approaching the concept of the tissue matrix and the way it is involved in affecting gene expression is through the idea of tensegrity. Tensegrity was defined in 1948 by Buckminster Fuller as a structural system composed of discontinuous compression elements connected by continuous tension cables. Examples of tensegrity structures abound in the world and include butterfly wings and geodesic domes. Perhaps the best example of a tensegrity system is the human body with the bones acting as compression elements and ligaments and tendons serving as tension cables. This type of tension-derived network may be a more appropriate way to view the tissue matrix system than as a rigid scaffolding system. Several investigators have now demonstrated this type of tension derived system operating in living cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-156
Number of pages26
JournalAdvances in Molecular and Cell Biology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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