Cell adhesion and neurite extension in response to two proteolytic fragments of laminin

S. L. Rogers, S. L. Palm, P. C. Letourneau, K. Hanlon, James B Mc Carthy, Leo T Furcht

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14 Scopus citations


Studies from several laboratories have suggested that laminin contains at least two domains that selectively mediate cell type‐specific behavior. In this study, two proteolytic fragments of laminin are evaluated for their ability to interact with three different populations of embryonic chicken cells. A 600 kDa thrombin fragment, derived from the central portion of the laminin molecule, supports attachment of dorsal root ganglion (DRG), spinal cord (SC), and heart cells. Neurons from both DRGs and SCs extend neurites in response to this fragment. Quantitatively, both cell adhesion and neurite extension on the 600 kDa fragment are comparable to these responses to intact laminin. A 440 kDa chymotrypsin fragment, derived from either intact laminin or the 600 kDa fragment, does not support equivalent responses. Fewer DRG cells attach to this fragment and neurites are shorter than on the 600 kDa fragment. Heart and SC cell attachment is also reduced in comparison with activity of the 600 kDa fragment, and SC neurites do not form on the 440 kDa fragment. These results suggest that there are at least two cell binding domains in the laminin molecule, one with which a variety of cell types can interact and another that may mediate more restricted cellular responses. The latter site appears to be relatively inactive for SC and heart cell adhesion but supports limited attachment and neurite extension by DRG neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1988


  • chicken cells
  • extracellular matrix
  • growth cones
  • neurons


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