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Biochemistry. 1992 Nov 10;31(44):10643-51.

Laminins and other strange proteins.

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Department of Biophysical Chemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland.


Laminins are large multidomain proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM) with important functions in the development and maintenance of cellular organization and supramolecular structure, in particular in basement membranes. Each molecule is composed of three polypeptide chains, A (300-400 kDa) and B1 and B2 (180-200 kDa), which together form the characteristic cross-shaped laminin structure with three short arms and one long arm. Many different domains have been identified in laminin by sequence analysis, structural investigations, and functional studies. Each short arm is formed by homologous N-terminal portions of one of the three chains. Structurally, each short arm contains two or three globular domains which are connected by rows of manyfold-repeated Cys-rich "EGF-like" domains. In all three chains this region is followed by a long heptad repeat region similar to those found in many alpha-helical coiled-coil proteins. These parts of the three laminin chains constitute a triple-stranded coiled-coil domain, which forms the extended rodlike structure of the long arm. This is the only domain in the protein which is made up of more than one chain and consequently serves the function of chain assembly. The two B chains are terminated by the coiled-coil domain, but the A chain contains an additional C-terminal segment which accounts for five globular domains located at the tip of the long arm. Several important functions of laminin have been assigned to individual domains in either the short arms or terminal regions of the long arm.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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