The contribution of the extracellular matrix (ECM) to the microenvironment of solid tumors is appreciated although not completely understood; however, the contribution of the ECM to the development of hematopoietic tumors has not been investigated in depth. A new study by Sangaletti and colleagues demonstrates that faulty ECM signaling can facilitate malignant lymphoproliferation in mice predisposed to autoimmunity. Similar changes in ECM construction, consistent with a loss of inhibitory ECM signaling, were identifi ed in the transition from reactive lymphoid hyperplasia to malignant chronic lymphocytic leukemia in patients. These results reveal a critical contribution of reduced collagen signaling in lymphoma and highlight the importance of appropriate ECM construction for maintenance of tissue homeostasis.
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