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Int J Cancer. 2001 Dec 15;94(6):763-7.

Laminin-5 in the progression of carcinomas.

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Health Care Centre of Kolari, Sairaalatie, Kolari, Kolari, Finland.


The basement membrane (BM) separates epithelial elements from the surrounding stroma. BM is dynamic in regulation of epithelial cells differentiation as well as their organization into 3-dimensional tissues. In these functions, among the molecules of the BM, laminins are especially dynamic. Laminins are distributed in a spatially and temporally regulated manner in various epithelial tissues. Various changes in the laminin distribution accompany the malignant transformation of epithelia. The role of the BM and laminins in the progression of carcinomas is not well understood. The BM has been suggested to act as a mechanical barrier against carcinoma cell invasion. BM laminins may play an active role in regulating the migration and proliferation of the carcinoma cells. Laminin isoform laminin-5 expression is typical for some invasive carcinomas and it may act as a ligand for invading carcinoma cells. Neoexpression of laminin-5 has also been associated to proliferative activity of the carcinoma cells. Integrins alpha(3)beta(1) and alpha(6)beta(4) are probable cell surface receptors acting with laminin-5 in the regulation of carcoma cell invasion and proliferation.

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