, Volume 52, Issue 1-3, pp 137-145

The 67 kDa laminin receptor as a prognostic factor in human cancer

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Different receptors for adhesion molecules, including the monomeric 67 kDa laminin receptor (67LR), are responsible for the interactions between tumor cells and components of the extracellular matrix that play an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis. Clinical data clearly demonstrate the importance of the 67LR in the progression of a wide variety of tumors, including breast, lung, ovary, and prostate carcinomas and lymphomas. Indeed, data on more than 4000 cases of different tumors from different organs studied by immunohistochemistry are all concordant with a role for the 67LR in invasiveness, metastasis, and even tumor growth. This receptor molecule appears to be unusual since the corresponding full-length gene encodes a 37 kDa precursor protein which, after acylation, dimerizes to generate the mature 67 kDa form. The primary function of the membrane receptor is to stabilize the binding of laminin to cell surface integrins, acting as an integrin-accessory molecule, although homology of the gene encoding the receptor precursor with other genes suggests additional functions. Studies conducted to define the structure, expression, and function of this laminin receptor represent a step toward developing therapeutic strategies that target this molecule. In particular, therapeutic approaches that downregulate expression of the receptor on tumor cells might lead to decreased tumor aggressiveness.