The importance of laminin 5 in the dermal-epidermal basement membrane

J Dermatol Sci. 2000 Dec;24 Suppl 1:S51-9. doi: 10.1016/s0923-1811(00)00142-0.


The skin consists of two main layers, epidermis and dermis, separated by the basement membrane. Epidermal-dermal communication through the basement membrane is important for skin homeostasis. The basement membrane contains specialized structures, called the anchoring complex, which ensure the stability of connection and communication between these two tissue compartments. The proteins within the anchoring complex provide links to both the intracellular cytoskeletal keratins in keratinocytes and connective tissue proteins of the dermis. One of the key components of the complex is laminin 5, which is essential to epidermal cell attachment. The biological function of laminin 5 has been investigated by using a skin equivalent model in vitro and during keratinocyte sheet grafting in vivo. As a major link between the epidermal basal cells and the papillary dermis, laminin 5 initiates hemidesmosome formation and provides stable attachment of the epidermis to the dermis. Laminin 5 also accelerates the assembly of basement membranes and may enhance the recovery of damaged skin. An intact basement membrane at the epidermal-dermal junction is essential to stability of the skin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / physiology*
  • Child
  • Dermis / cytology*
  • Dermis / physiology*
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Laminin / physiology*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena


  • Laminin