Here is a selection of publications where different laminin isoforms were used to create more authentic cell culture systems.

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  • Laminin alpha 5 is Necessary for Mammary Epithelial Growth and Function by Maintaining Luminal Epithelial Cell Identity

    Englund J.I., Cojoc H., Blaas L., Ritchie A., Pentinmikko N., Döhla J., Munne P., Patarroyo M., Klefström J., Ivaska J., Katajisto P.

    Here, the authors demonstrate that the expression of distinct laminin α-isoforms by luminal and basal mammary epithelial cells enforces lineage identity that is necessary for normal mammary gland growth and function. α5 chain laminin isoforms are mainly expressed by the luminal epithelial cells, and it is necessary for pubertal mammary gland growth, pregnancy-induced gland remodeling, and for alveolar function. Adhesion to α5 chain containing laminin promotes luminal traits in both luminal and basal epithelial cells and reduces progenitor activity of basal epithelial cells. Mechanistically, we show that loss of α5 chan laminins interferes with the differentiation of hormone receptor-positive luminal cells, which results in reduced Wnt4 expression and defective crosstalk between luminal and basal epithelial cells during gland remodeling. Our results reveal a novel BM-mediated mechanism, which regulates mammary gland remodeling and function via the specification of luminal epithelial cells.

  • Extracellular matrix in mammary gland development and breast cancer progression

    Hu G., Li L., Xu W.Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine, 2017

    The extracellular matrix is one of the essential components of the breast tumor microenvironment, in which the development and progression require extensive reorganization of ECM. In this review, the authors summarized recent findings on functions of ECM microenvironment in mammary gland development, tumor growth, invasion, migration, and metastasis, focusing on the functions of cancer cell-derived ECM in tumor progression.

  • Skeletal muscle laminin and MDC1A: pathogenesis and treatment strategies

    Gawlik K. and Durbeej M. Skelet Muscle, 2011

    In this review, the authors introduce laminin-211 and describe its structure, expression pattern in developing and adult muscle and its receptor interactions. They also discuss the molecular pathogenesis of MDC1A and advances toward the development of treatment.

  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Sphincter Regeneration: Role of Laminin Isoforms upon Myogenic Differentiation

    Seeger T., Hart M., Patarroyo M., Rolauffs B., Aicher W.K., Klein G. PLoS One, 2015

    In the sphincter tissue (smooth muscle) a strong expression of the isoforms laminin-211/221, laminin-411/421 and laminin-511/521 can be detected in the different cell layers. Bone marrow-derived MSCs in culture, however, mainly express the isoforms laminin-411 and laminin-511, but not laminin-211. Even after myogenic differentiation, laminin-211 can hardly be detected. All laminin isoforms tested (-211, -411, -511 and -521) showed significant inhibition of the proliferation of undifferentiated MSCs but, with the exception of laminin-521, they had no influence on the proliferation of MSCs cultivated in a myogenic medium. The strongest cellular adhesion of MSCs was to laminin-511 and laminin-521, whereas laminin-211 was only a weakly-adhesive substrate for MSCs. Myogenic differentiation of MSCs even reduced the interaction with laminin-211, but it did not affect the interaction with laminin-511 and laminin-521. Since during normal myogenesis the latter two isoforms are the major laminins surrounding developing myogenic progenitors, α5 chain-containing laminins are recommended for further improvements of myogenic differentiation protocols of MSCs into smooth muscle cells.

  • The role of laminins in the organization and function of neuromuscular junctions

    Rogers R.S. & Nishimune H.Matrix Biology, 2016

    The synaptic cleft between a motor neuron and a muscle fiber is filled with the basal lamina. Laminin α4, α5, and β2 chains specifically localize to neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), and these laminin isoforms play a critical role in the maintenance of NMJs and organization of synaptic vesicle release sites known as active zones. These individual laminin chains exert their role in organizing NMJs by binding to their receptors including integrins, dystroglycan, and voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Disruption of these laminins or the laminin-receptor interaction occurs in neuromuscular diseases including Pierson syndrome and Lambert–Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS).

  • Laminin therapy for the promotion of muscle regeneration

    Riederer I., Bonomo A.C., Mouly V., Savino W.FEBS Lett., 2015

    Accumulating data show that the local microenvironment plays a major role during muscle regeneration. In the satellite cell niche, a major extracellular matrix protein is laminin. Human myoblasts transplanted into immunodeficient mice are preferentially located in laminin-enriched areas. Additionally, laminin-111 enhances myoblast proliferation in vitro and increases the expression of the α7β1 integrin-type laminin receptor. Intramuscular injection of laminin-111 ameliorates muscular pathology in mdx mice, protecting muscle fibers from damage. Moreover, transplantation of human myoblasts with laminin-111 into Rag/mdx immunodeficient recipients improved the efficacy of myoblast transplantation, increasing the number of human dystrophin-positive myofibres. Taken together, these data strongly indicate that exogenous laminin can ameliorate the regeneration process in different models of muscular dystrophies and can be instrumental for improving cell therapy aiming at repairing the degeneration/regeneration process in skeletal muscle.

  • Laminin-211 in skeletal muscle function

    Holmberg J., Durbeej M. Cell Adh Migr, 2013

    This review focus on the importance of laminin-211 for normal skeletal muscle function.

  • Bioenergetic Impairment in Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Type 1A and Leigh Syndrome Muscle Cells

    Fontes-Oliveira C.C., Steinz M., Schneiderat P., Mulder H., Durbeej M.Scientific Reports, 2017

    Congenital muscular dystrophy type 1A (MDC1A) is a severe muscle disorder caused by mutations in the laminin α2 gene. Here, the authors have investigated the bioenergetic profile in myogenic cells from MDC1A and LS patients. To confirm that the metabolic alterations were due to deficiency of laminin-211 in MDC1A cells, MDC1A myotubes were cultured in plates coated with recombinant laminin-211. Indeed, basal respiration, maximum respiration, and ATP production, as well as basal mitochondrial respiration and maximal mitochondrial respiration capacity, were normalized to control levels in the presence of laminin-211. The results indicate that absence of laminin α2 chain leads to downregulated PGC1α expression, which impairs mitochondrial biogenesis, causing a reduction of mitochondrial content that finally leads to a bioenergetic inefficiency in myoblasts and myotubes from MDC1A patients. The authors found dysregulated expression of genes related to energy production, apoptosis, and proteasome in myoblasts and myotubes. The data, for the first time, demonstrated an impairment of the bioenergetic status in human MDC1A and LS muscle cells, which could contribute to cell cycle disturbance and increased apoptosis. 

  • A bioengineered niche preserves the quiescence of muscle stem cells and enhances their therapeutic efficacy

    Quarta M., Brett J.O., DiMarco R., De Morree A., Boutet S.C. Chacon R. Gibbons M.C.,  Garcia V.A., Su J., Shrager J.B., Heilshorn S., Rando T.A. Nat Biotechnol., 2016

    Here, the authors describe a system for maintaining muscle stem cells (MuSCs) in vitro in a potent, quiescent state. They screen for factors that could maintain mouse MuSC quiescence and defined a quiescence medium. The authors also designed artificial muscle fibers (AMFs) that mimic the native myofiber of the MuSC niche. Mouse MuSCs maintained in quiescence medium on AMFs showed enhanced potential for engraftment, tissue regeneration, and self-renewal after transplantation in mice. That also evaluated if the muscle fiber specific membrane protein laminin-211 could maintain MuSCs quiescence. The AMFs were coated with recombinant Integrin α4β1 followed by recombinant laminin-211. Indeed, the results showed similarly prolonged quiescence in vitro and enhanced potency in vivo. When seeded onto the laminin-coated AMFs and cultured for three days, mouse MuSCs showed reduced activation as assessed by EdU incorporation, increased viability as assessed by ATP levels, and higher Pax7 and lower MyoD protein expression when compared to AMFs alone or functionalized with integrin α4β1 only.

  • An improved method for culturing myotubes on laminins for the robust clustering of postsynaptic machinery

    Pęziński M., DaszczukP., Shankar Pradhan B., Lochmüller H. Prószyński T.J. Scientific Reports, 2020

    This study demonstrates an improved protocol for culturing C2C12 muscle cells that reproducibly promote the formation of complex AChR clusters. The authors tested several laminin isoforms and found that laminin-121, laminin-211, laminin-221, laminin-511, and laminin-521 induced significantly more AChR clusters in C2C12 myotubes than the commonly used laminin-111. Moreover, they found that clusters of postsynaptic machinery that were formed in C2C12 myotubes cultured on laminin-121 and laminin-221 were the most developed. Laminin-421 and laminin-511 were the isoforms that promoted formation of the most podosome-containing AChR clusters in human primary myotubes. Myotubes that were derived from human primary myoblasts obtained from human biopsies also formed AChR clusters in vitro that underwent the remodeling process, thus demonstrating the potential utility of this methodology for further studies that seek to improve diagnoses of neuromuscular disorders and elucidate their underlying mechanisms. Thus, this novel method may facilitate the identification of novel synaptic regulators and the high reproducibility of culturing and robust formation of AChR clusters are important prerequisites for establishing high-throughput screening. The protocol is also useful for obtaining and freezing a large number of cell stocks and utilizing cells for experimentation with a constant and low passage number, which significantly increases experimental reproducibility. The method can be implemented in different formats, such as permanox slides, glass surfaces as well as multi-well culturing dishes. Collectively, these results demonstrate an advancement of culturing myotubes.