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

Cloning and biological function of laminin in Hydra vulgaris.

The Cnidarian, hydra, lends itself to studies related to the role of extracellular matrix ( ECM) components in development because of its high regenerative capacity and its simple structure, which is organized as an epithelial bilayer with an intervening ECM termed the mesoglea. Previous immunocytochemical and biochemical studies have established that hydra mesoglea contains many of the major matrix components (e.g., fibronectin, laminin, type IV collagen, and heparan sulfate proteoglycan) associated with the ECM of vertebrate and more complex invertebrate species. Additional studies have also established that ECM components have a critical role in hydra development as monitored during head regeneration and morphogenesis of hydra cell aggregates. In the present study a monoclonal antibody (mAb52) raised to isolated hydra mesoglea was used as a probe in additional functional studies and to screen a cDNA expression library made from poly(A)+ RNA isolated from Hydra vulgaris. Immunofluorescent analysis indicated that mAb52 was localized along the entire longitudinal axis of adult polyps in what is termed the subepithelial zones of hydra mesoglea. Cytochemical studies found these subepithelial zones to be rich in anionic sites. Previous studies have shown that mAb52 blocks hydra cell aggregate development and experiments in the current study have shown that mAb52 also blocks in vivo interstitial cell (I-cell) migration in hydra grafts. Sequence analysis of cDNA clones isolated using mAb52 indicated that the protein encoded by these clones had structural homology with mammalian and Drosophila laminin B1 chain and hybridized to a single 6.75-kb band on Northern blots of total hydra RNA. One interesting difference in hydra laminin B1 was the presence of a FTGTQ amino acid sequence in place of the vertebrate YIGSR cell binding domain. Under nonreducing conditions, polyclonal antibodies against FTGTQ bound to the same > 200-kDa band on Western blots of mesoglea as mAb52 and also immunolocalized to the subepithelial zones. Under reducing conditions, anti-FTGTQ antibodies bound to a single band with a mass of approximately 200 kDa. In addition, FTGTQ peptide inhibited adhesion of dissociated hydra cells to mesoglea and anti-FTGTQ antibodies inhibited hydra cell binding to substrates coated with mesoglea or FTGTQ peptide. Anti-FTGTQ antibodies also inhibited in vivo I-cell migration in hydra grafts. Given the early divergence of Cnidarians during evolution, these studies indicate the highly conserved nature of laminin and provide additional information regarding the critical role of ECM components during hydra development.[1]


  1. Cloning and biological function of laminin in Hydra vulgaris. Sarras, M.P., Yan, L., Grens, A., Zhang, X., Agbas, A., Huff, J.K., St John, P.L., Abrahamson, D.R. Dev. Biol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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