Laminin….it is an amazing molecule. The following is the definition of Laminin, as found on wikipedia:
Laminin is a protein found in the extracellular matrix, the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the basement membrane. It is the major non-collagenous component of the basal lamina, such as those on which cells of an epithelium sit. It has four arms that can bind to four other molecules. The three shorter arms are particularly good at bindingto other laminin molecules, which is what makes it so great at forming sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membrane.
Structurally, the Laminin protein is made up of three polypeptide chains – α, β and γ, giving it a total of six “ends”, accounting for a lot of its flexibility in connecting various molecules.
They are a family of glycoproteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every animal tissue. Laminins are secreted and incorporated into cell-associated extracellular matrices.
Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together. Improper production of Laminin can cause muscles to form improperly, leading to a form of muscular dystrophy.
Now it is amazing what the function of this little molecule is…Laminin is responsible for holding all of our body structures together…basically, it is the rebar of our body’s….
But what is most amazing is actually what Laminin looks like, or the sight of it. Laminin is actually in the shape of a cross. Laminin, the very thing that holds our bodies together.