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Cell. 1989 Sep 8;58(5):933-43.

Two different laminin domains mediate the differentiation of human endothelial cells into capillary-like structures in vitro.

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Laboratory of Developmental Biology and Anomalies, National Institute of Dental Research, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Endothelial cells, both microvascular as well as large vessel, undergo differentiation slowly in culture under most conditions. When endothelial cells are cultured on Matrigel, a solid gel of basement membrane proteins, they rapidly align and form hollow tube-like structures. We show here that tube formation is a multi-step process induced by laminin. An RGD-containing sequence in the A chain of laminin through an integrin receptor on the endothelial cell induces their attachment to the protein while a YIGSR site in the B1 chain induces cell-cell interactions and the resulting tube formation. We also show that the laminin-derived synthetic peptide YIGSR contains sufficient information to induce single endothelial cells to form ring-like structures surrounding a hollow lumen, the basic putative unit in the formation of capillaries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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