Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-23-2012

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Biology: Pre-Med

Primary Subject Area

Biology, Molecular; Biology, Cell; Biology, Physiology

Keywords

Laminin deficiency, protein, muscular dystrophy, Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome, Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa

Disciplines

Cell Biology | Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Molecular Biology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases

Abstract

Laminin (LM) is a network of proteins that functions as a connective framework of most cells in the body. It is composed of multiple different subunits and therefore has many different variations. It is a trimeric protein, meaning that it is composed primarily of ⍺, β, and γ chains. The differentiation of these subunits is what gives the different variants their functions. In addition, although LM is the primary molecule in scope, the network of other connective proteins involved in LM-associated diseases will also be covered in lesser detail because molecules like dystrophin, dystroglycan, collagen, and integrin are vital to the understanding of how LM can influence the body. Current treatments are typically symptomatic, and if cures are to be found, the focus needs to be on the root cause.