The following section briefly describes the structure of some
matrix components which are prominent and of known relevance to plasticity and repair. This includes molecules found in the basal laminae (a layer of ECM secreted by epithelial cells of the basement membrane): laminin, fibronectin and collagen, along with molecules found in both diffuse (interstitial) and condensed (PNN) matrix: HA, tenascins link proteins and chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs). Laminins are heterotrimeric glycoprotein cell adhesion molecules and form the major noncollagenous glycoprotein of the basal laminae . Isoform variety is attained through combinatorial expression of different α, β and γ subunits forming 15 unique laminin isotypes with distinct functions.
Chains are arranged in a cruciform or T-shaped selleck compound structure and contain globular (G) and rod-like domains required for self-assembly, polymerization with adjacent laminins and interaction with other molecules and receptors. Laminin polymerization occurs via interactions between the N-terminal G domains Afatinib of the short-arms and cell-surface interactions are thought to occur predominantly through the longest arm via a tandem of five laminin G-like domains of the α-chain C-terminus [9,10]. Laminins are thought to be essential for basement membrane assembly [9,11]. Basement membranes are not found on all cell surfaces; for example, Schwann cells are surrounded by basement membrane but adjacent axons are not. Adenosine Ability to assemble a basement membrane is suggested to be dependent on cellular expression of laminin G-like binding molecules. In Schwann cells this is reported to be the glycolipid galactosyl-sulphatide and nonbasement membrane-forming fibroblasts
become competent for basement membrane assembly following the experimental intercalation of such sulphatides into their plasma membrane . Receptors for laminin primarily include integrins, the nonintegrin syndecans, dystroglycans and Lutheran blood group glycoprotein . Laminins are the canonical adhesive and growth promoting molecules, forming a substratum for neuronal migration and axonal pathfinding in development. Fibronectin is a large dimeric protein composed of three distinct tandem repeats (I, II and III). These repeats include functional domains which, like laminin, enable polymerization and interactions with cell surface receptors and other ECM components. Within the matrix, collagen interactions occur with FN I and II, and heparan sulphate progeoglycans and tenascin interact with sites in FN III [14,15].