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Graphical

Extracellular spaceSecretedExtracellular matrix

Definition

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a vague term used to refer to all the material surrounding cells in a multicellular organism, except circulating fluids such as blood or lymph. In some cases, the ECM accounts for more of the organism's bulk than its cells. In plants, arthropods and fungi the ECM is primarily composed of nonliving material such as cellulose or chitin. In vertebrates the ECM consists of a complex network including the basement membrane, collage, elastin, proteoglycans and hyaluronan.

Synonyms

Proteinaceous extracellular matrix

Category

› Cellular component

Keywords

Extracellular matrix

GOi

proteinaceous extracellular matrix [ GO:0005578 ]