Laminins are key basement membrane molecules that influence several biological activities and are linked to a number of diseases. They are secreted as heterotrimeric proteins consisting of one α, one β, and one γ chain, followed by their assembly into a polymer-like sheet at the basement membrane. Using sedimentation velocity, dynamic light scattering, and surface plasmon resonance experiments, we studied self-association of three laminin (LM) N-terminal fragments α-1 (hLM α-1 N), α-5 (hLM α-5 N) and β-3 (hLM β-3 N) originating from the short arms of the human laminin αβγ heterotrimer. Corresponding studies of the hLM α-1 N C49S mutant, equivalent to the larval lethal C56S mutant in zebrafish, have shown that this mutation causes enhanced self-association behavior, an observation that provides a plausible explanation for the inability of laminin bearing this mutation to fulfill functional roles in vivo, and hence for the deleterious pathological consequences of the mutation on lens function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology