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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e35546. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035546. Epub 2012 May 1.

Polymerized laminin-332 matrix supports rapid and tight adhesion of keratinocytes, suppressing cell migration.

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Division of Cell Biology, Kihara Institute for Biological Research, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan.


Laminin-332 (α3ß3γ2) (Lm332) supports the stable anchoring of basal keratinocytes to the epidermal basement membrane, while it functions as a motility factor for wound healing and cancer invasion. To understand these contrasting activities of Lm332, we investigated Lm332 matrices deposited by normal human keratinocytes and other Lm332-expressing cell lines. All types of the cells efficiently deposited Lm332 on the culture plates in specific patterns. On the contrary, laminins containing laminin ß1 and/or γ1 chains, such as Lm511 and Lm311, were not deposited on the culture plates even if secreted into culture medium. The Lm332 deposition was not inhibited by function-blocking antibodies to the α3 and α6 integrins but was inhibited by sodium selenate, suggesting that sulfated glycosaminoglycans on cell surface, e.g. heparan sulfate proteoglycans, might be involved in the process. HEK293 cells overexpressing exogenous Lm332 (Lm332-HEK) almost exclusively deposited Lm332 on the plates. The deposited Lm332 matrix showed a mesh-like network structure as analyzed by electron microscopy, suggesting that Lm332 was highly polymerized. When biological activity was analyzed, the Lm332 matrix rather suppressed the migration of keratinocytes as compared with purified Lm332, which highly promoted the cell migration. The Lm332 matrix supported adhesion of keratinocytes much more strongly and stably than purified Lm332. Integrin α3ß1 bound to the Lm332 matrix at a three times higher level than purified Lm332. Normal keratinocytes prominently showed integrin α6ß4-containing, hemidesmosome-like structures on the Lm332 matrix but not on the purified one. These results indicate that the polymerized Lm332 matrix supports stable cell adhesion by interacting with both integrin α6ß4 and α3ß1, whereas unassembled soluble Lm332 supports cell migration.

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