Laminins are high-molecular weight (~400kDa) proteins of the extracellular matrix. They are an important and biologically active part of the basal lamina, which is one of the layers of the basement membrane, a protein network foundation for most cells and organs, influencing cell differentiation, migration, and adhesion. Laminins are heterotrimeric proteins that contain an α-chain, a β-chain, and a γ-chain. The distribution of the different laminin isoforms is tissue-specific. The laminin molecules are named according to their chain composition.
Laminin-111 is one of the first laminin isoforms to be discovered. The “111” identifies the isoform’s chain composition of α1β1γ1. Laminin-111 is predominantly expressed in the embryonic epithelium, but can also be found in some adult epithelium such as the kidney,liver, testis, ovaries, and brain blood vessels. Laminin-111 has been identified as a crucial molecule for development of the embryo, genetic ablation of laminin-111 results in embryonic death.
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