Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 339, Issue 1, pp 167-188

First online:

Basement membranes and human disease

  • Tom Van AgtmaelAffiliated withBiomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow Email author 
  • , Leena Bruckner-TudermanAffiliated withDepartment of Dermatology, University Medical Center FreiburgFreiburg Institute for Advanced Studies Email author 

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In 1990, the role of basement membranes in human disease was established by the identification of COL4A5 mutations in Alport’s syndrome. Since then, the number of diseases caused by mutations in basement membrane components has steadily increased as has our understanding of the roles of basement membranes in organ development and function. However, many questions remain as to the molecular and cellular consequences of these mutations and the way in which they lead to the observed disease phenotypes. Despite this, exciting progress has recently been made with potential treatment options for some of these so far incurable diseases.


Basement membrane Laminin Collagen Nidogen