About this Research Topic
Cell-cell interactions and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions guide complex cellular decisions in various physiological processes including immune regulation, such as leukocyte trafficking via blood and lymphatic vascular system. These interactions are also critical for the development of disease including cancer, immune disorders, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. These interactions are mediated at the cell surface by adhesion molecules such as integrins; the immunoglobulin superfamily; carbohydrate-binding molecules including selectins and other lectins; and also by ECM molecules such as collagens and proteoglycans. Recent experimental evidence has indicated that these processes are finely tuned by the supramolecular assembly of adhesion molecules and cytoskeletal proteins that sense and recognize the physical properties of environmental cues by using advanced techniques such as quantitative imaging, well-defined model systems and 3D organotypic models.
With regards to cancer immunity, cancer immunotherapy is actively being pursued to treat a variety of cancers particularly focusing on immune modulation using antibodies that block immune regulatory checkpoints and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)–modified T cells. Particularly, selectins have been described to contribute to the maintenance of the tumor microenvironment and other lectins such as siglecs also regulate immune responses by binding to cancer cell-derived glycans. However, the potential to target these molecules remain poorly investigated.
In light of the current need for new approaches to treat and prevent diseases such as immune disorders and cancer and due to the complex nature of the molecular sociology of the cell, it has been increasingly evident that a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate them is crucial. Taking this into account, this Research Topic aims to provide a comprehensive view of recent advances in the understanding of cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions in the regulation of immune cell function and cancer.
We welcome researchers to submit Reviews, Mini-Reviews and Original Research articles that cover, but not limited to, the following topics:
1. Molecular mechanisms regulating cellular-based and ECM-based adhesion in the immune and tumor microenvironment.
2. Modulation of immune cell dynamics and cancer progression by manipulation of cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions.
3. Emerging approaches for quantitative imaging and physical measurement of cell adhesion and migratory processes.
4. Therapeutic approaches to modulating cell-matrix adhesion for the immunotherapy of cancer.
We hope that this Research Topic will harness recent findings about the important mechanisms related to adhesion-based molecular and cellular machinery in immunobiology and cancer.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.