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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential expression of laminin A and B chains during development of embryonic mouse organs.

Laminin is a large glycoprotein of basement membranes. The best described laminin from a mouse tumor contains three polypeptide chains (A, B1 and B2), but there is recent evidence that some cell types produce laminin isoforms lacking the A chain. We have here studied the occurrence of the isoforms during mouse organogenesis. In all tissues studied, the A chain mRNA and polypeptide were more weakly expressed than those of the B chains. Laminin A chain polypeptides showed a much more restricted tissue distribution than the B chains. Laminin A chain polypeptide was mainly detected in basement membranes of epithelial cells, suggesting that this chain is important for morphogenesis of epithelial sheets. Most endothelial basement membranes and all embryonic mesenchyme matrices studied seemed to lack the A chain even though they contained B chains. Several of the cells producing laminin devoid of A chain seem to produce other polypeptides that become complexed to the B chains. With an anti-laminin antiserum, which in immunoblots reacts only with A and B polypeptide chains, additional polypeptides of 160 and 190 x 10(3) Mr were co-precipitated from all tissues studied. In developing heart, a polypeptide of 300 x 10(3) Mr was co-precipitated in addition. Our data suggest that these laminin-associated polypeptides are not formed by a differential splicing of the known A chain mRNA. Northern blotting of poly (A)+ RNA showed only 10kb A chain transcripts but no truncated forms. We conclude that several cell types in the mouse embryo produce laminin variants that lack the 400 x 10(3) Mr A chain. Since a major cell binding site of laminin contains parts of the A chain, the variants should differ in biological function from laminin containing this A chain.[1]


  1. Differential expression of laminin A and B chains during development of embryonic mouse organs. Klein, G., Ekblom, M., Fecker, L., Timpl, R., Ekblom, P. Development (1990) [Pubmed]
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