• ECM proteins;
  • Adhesion;
  • Proliferation;
  • Cell shape


Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins play a critical role in many cellular functions, from spreading, migration and proliferation to apoptosis. This role can be altered when proteins of the native ECM are adsorbed to different substrates which cause structural modifications that can influence their biological function. The effects on CaCo-2 cells of laminin-1, fibronectin, collagen-1 and ECM gel adsorbed to glass and to tissue culture polystyrene (PS) were compared in terms of adhesion, proliferation, shapes and spreading of cells in culture. Significant differences between glass and PS surfaces were observed for proliferation and cell shape. Protein surfaces prepared on PS substrates had, in most cases, more pronounced effects on cells than uncoated PS, especially if coated by collagen-1. Adsorbed ECM gel was the most adhesive for cells, but its effect on cell proliferation was not notably different from the controls (glass or PS). These findings indicate that the choice of the substrate can have a significant effect on experimental results and should be taken into consideration when comparing results obtained on different surfaces.