1. Why is using biologically relevant matrix so important for your research?

The basement membranes are thin, flexible, sheets, which surrounds the individual cell types. The basement membrane contain many different proteins such as Nidogens and type IV Collagens but only the laminins are expressed tissue-specifically and play essential roles in e.g. cell anchorage, proliferation, differentiation, migration and inhibition of apoptosis. Contrary, other extracellular matrix proteins, such as Vitronectin, Fibronectin and type IV Collagen, are present everywhere and have a more structural role but are not as important for the regulation and control of cell function.

 

2. What are the major advantages of using human recombinant laminins vs tissue-originated counterparts?

Human recombinant Laminins are purified full-length proteins with all the functional domains intact. Laminins isolated from tissue is an impure mix of several ECM proteins. Moreover, during isolation the proteins tend to be heavily degraded with the consequence of structural integrity and lost function. For reference about the difference in quality and function of commercially available recombinant versus isolated preparations of laminins see Wondimu et al., 2006.