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Laminin-2 stimulates the proliferation of epithelial cells in a conjunctival epithelial cell line

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Laminin-2 (LN-2, α2β1γ1) is a basement membrane-associated laminin isoform usually considered in the context of muscle and nerve tissues. To test the hypothesis that LN-2 can additionally modulate epithelial cell biology, an analysis of the role of LN-2 in cell adhesion, activation of signalling intermediates and proliferation was undertaken. A virally transformed human conjunctival epithelial cell line (HC0597) was utilized in this study. Adhesion assays using function-inhibiting antibodies demonstrated that α3β1 integrin is essential for the rapid attachment of conjunctival epithelial cells to LN-2. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation analyses revealed that, compared with LN-1 or LN-10, LN-2 significantly promotes epithelial proliferation. Phosphorylation of the signalling intermediates Erk1/2 and Akt-1 was observed within 15┬ámin of cell adhesion to LN-2. Inhibiting α3β1 integrin function decreased total cellular phosphotyrosine levels, specifically inhibited phosphorylation of Erk1/2 and Akt-1, and dampened the proliferation response of epithelial cells adherent to LN-2. Inhibition of Erk or Akt activation inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. However, the inhibition of Erk resulted in a stronger suppression of proliferation compared with Akt inhibition. From these results, it is concluded that human conjunctival epithelial cells adhere to immobilized LN-2 using α3β1 integrin. α3β1 integrin/LN-2 signalling, transduced primarily through an Erk pathway, enhances epithelial cell proliferation. These results demonstrate that LN-2 can impact on epithelial cell biology in addition to nerve and muscle, and provide information regarding the role of this isoform in ocular surface epithelial cells.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine and

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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