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J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 15;263(32):16536-44.

Laminin, a multidomain protein. The A chain has a unique globular domain and homology with the basement membrane proteoglycan and the laminin B chains.

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  • 1Laboratory of Developmental Biology and Anomalies, National Institute of Dental Research, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Laminin (Mr = 800,000) is a glycoprotein consisting of three chains, A, B1, and B2, and has diverse biological activities. Previously we reported the complete primary structure of the B1 and B2 chains of mouse laminin deduced from cDNA sequence (Sasaki, M., Kohno, K., Kato, S., Martin, G. R., and Yamada, Y. (1987) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 84, 935-939; Sasaki, M., and Yamada, Y. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 262, 17111-17117). Here we describe the isolation, characterization, and sequence of cDNA clones spanning 9,520 bases which encode the entire A chain of mouse laminin. The nucleotide sequence of the clones contains an open reading frame of 3,084 amino acids including 24 amino acids of a signal peptide. The A chain contains some eight distinct domains including alpha-helices, cysteine-rich repeats and globules. There is considerable sequence and structural homology between the A chain and the B1 and B2 chains. However, the A chain has a unique globular structure containing homologous repeats at the carboxyl terminus and constituting one third of the molecular mass of the chain. Furthermore, the A chain contains three globules and three cysteine-rich domains at the amino terminus, whereas the B1 and B2 chains have only two each of such domains. The A chain shows homology to the basement membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan core protein and the extracellular domain of the Drosophila neurogenic protein Notch. There is an RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) sequence in one of the cysteine-rich domains of the A chain. This potential cell binding sequence could be active as another adhesion signal in addition to the previously identified cell binding sequence YIGSR (Tyr-Ile-Gly-Ser-Arg) of the B1 chain.

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