Author(s): Aumailley M, El Khal A, Knss N, Tunggal L
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Abstract Laminins are a family of multi-functional basement membrane proteins. Their C-terminal domain binds to cell surface receptors and is thereby responsible for cell anchorage and the initiation of specific outside-in and inside-out signals. With their N-terminal parts, laminins interact with proteins of the extracellular matrix scaffold to secure the basement membrane to the underlying mesenchymal tissue. Laminins 5A (alpha3Abeta3gamma2), 5B (alpha3Bbeta3gamma2) and 6 (alpha3Abeta1gamma1) are isoforms specific of the basement membrane underneath the epidermis and they undergo a sequential series of extracellular proteolytic changes, which might successively turn on and off one or several of their biological and mechanical functions. Under physiological conditions, such as in adult human skin, epithelial laminins have lost part of the C- and N-terminal domains of the alpha3 and gamma2 chains, respectively. In contrast, in cylindromatosis, a rare inherited disease characterised by major ultrastructural alterations of the basement membrane and altered expression/distribution of integrin receptors, laminin processing has not been completed. Together, these results suggest that laminin processing may regulate signalling pathways and the architecture of the basement membrane by restricting the repertoire of interactions with cell surface receptors and extracellular matrix components.
This article was published in Matrix Biol
and referenced in Biology and Medicine