Molecular Biology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 350–371 | Cite as

Laminins in Metastatic Cancer

  • D. V. Maltseva
  • S. A. Rodin


Laminins are a family of extracellular heterotrimeric glycoproteins that are the main structural component of basement membranes (BMs), perform a barrier function, and are important for adhesion, differentiation, migration, and resistance to apoptosis of various cells, including cancer cells. The review summarizes the current knowledge of how laminins produced by cancer and normal cells influence the key stages of carcinogenesis. Laminin 332 (LN-332) and LN-111 enhance proliferation of certain cancer cells and increase the tumour growth. LN-111 increases resistance to apoptosis, induces differentiation, and inhibits the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cancer cells. LN-332 is associated with higher adhesion and higher migration potential of cancer cells. LN-411 and LN-421 significantly increase motility of cancer cells. LN-332 and LN-511 facilitate cell–cell adhesion and affect the efficacy of cell–cell interactions. The laminin chains α4 and α5 are important for the development and function of blood and lymphatic vessels. The expression ratio of the α4 and α5 laminin chains defines the BM permeability to leukocytes and, presumably, cancer cells in blood and lymphatic vessels. Interactions between LN-511 and α2-containing laminins enhance selfrenewal and survival of circulating cancer stem cells. Moreover, laminins are involved in the formation of premetastatic niches and new colonies. Endogenous expression of the α4 laminin chain stimulates proliferation of individualised circulating cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and facilitates micrometastasis.


laminins laminin receptors metastasis tumor growth invasion extravasation lymphatic metastasis premetastatic niche formation epithelial–mesenchymal transition 



basement membrane


laminin (in isoform designations)


cancer-associated fibroblast


cancer stem cell


epithelial–mesenchymal transition


focal adhesion kinase


fibroblastic reticular cell


mitogenactivated protein kinase


mesenchymal–epithelial transition


prostate-specific membrane antigen


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scientific Research Center BioKlinikumMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biochemistry and BiophysicsKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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