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J Cell Biol. 1998 Jun 29;141(7):1675-84.

The laminin-nidogen complex is a ligand for a specific splice isoform of the transmembrane protein tyrosine phosphatase LAR.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Leukocyte antigen-related protein (LAR) is a prototype for a family of transmembrane protein tyrosine phosphatases whose extracellular domain is composed of three Ig and several fibronectin type III (FnIII) domains. Complex alternative splicing of the LAR-FnIII domains 4-8 has been observed. The extracellular matrix laminin-nidogen complex was identified as a ligand for the LAR-FnIII domain 5 (Fn5) using a series of GST-LAR-FnIII domain fusion proteins and testing them in in vitro ligand-binding assays. LAR- laminin-nidogen binding was regulated by alternative splicing of a small exon within the LAR-Fn5 so that inclusion of this exon sequence resulted in disruption of the laminin-nidogen-binding activity. Long cellular processes were observed when HeLa cells were plated on laminin-nidogen, but not when plated on a fibronectin surface. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody staining revealed high expression of LAR in a punctate pattern, throughout the length of these cellular processes observed on laminin-nidogen. Antibody-induced cross-linking of LAR inhibited formation of these cellular processes, and inhibition was correlated with changes in cellular actin cytoskeletal structure. Thus, LAR-laminin-nidogen binding may play a role in regulating cell signaling induced by laminin-nidogen, resulting in cell morphological changes.

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