Basement membranes can be a barrier to tumour growth, but basement membrane molecules, including laminins, are also important autocrine factors produced by cancers to promote tumorigenesis. Many studies have shown the importance of laminin 332 (previously known as laminin 5) in this process, especially in squamous cell carcinoma. Through interactions with several cell-surface receptors (including alpha6beta4 and alpha3beta1 integrins, epidermal growth factor receptor and syndecan 1) and other basement membrane components (including type VII collagen), laminin 332 drives tumorigenesis through phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) and RAC1 activation, promoting tumour invasion and cell survival. The extracellular interactions of laminin 332 appear amenable to antibody-mediated therapies.
View details for PubMedID 17457303