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Human Anatomy and Physiology

What is laminin?

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August 11, 2012 3:50AM

Laminin is a Glycoprotein (Oligosaccharide-Protein) which acts as a binding agent between cell walls. They have been dubbed as the "babysitters" of the cells. Laminin influence the cells' differentiation, movement, adhesion, and cell life. Certain muscular dystrophy have been linked to malfunctions in the laminin (Laminin 211 for all you students of chemistry).

This is what Laminin looks like:

.........................O.......................

.........................O.......................

................................................

............OO===|.|.|===OO.........

........................\|/.......................

................................................

................................................

................................................

.........................O.......................

As you can see laminin look much like crosses. The three sections which combine are composed of a Beta chain, Alpha chain, and Gamma chain (respectively). Each chain has a double OO shaped Collogen IV base which acts as a "hand" grabbing onto a cellular wall. The three chains coil around each other and end at the bottom Herapan Sulfate Binding Domain (the bottom O).