Expression of laminin 5-γ2 chain in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and its role in tumour invasion

Br J Cancer. 2011 Sep 6;105(6):824-32. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.283. Epub 2011 Aug 9.


Background: Laminin-5 (Ln5), a heterotrimer composed of three chains (α3, β3, and γ2), is a major component of the basement membrane in most adult tissues. One of the chains, Ln5-γ2, is a marker of invasive tumours because it is frequently expressed as a monomer in malignant tumours. Recent studies from our laboratories detected higher levels of Ln5-γ2 expression in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) than in trichoblastoma. Furthermore, Ln5-γ2 overexpression tended to correlate with aggressiveness in BCC.

Methods: In this study, we compared the expression of Ln5-γ2 in invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, n = 62) of the skin to that in preinvasive Bowen's disease (BD, n = 51), followed by analysis of the role of Ln5-γ2 in cancer invasion in vitro.

Results: Immunohistochemically, the proportion of SCC cases (86%) strongly positive for Ln5-γ2 expression was higher than that of BD (16%). Real-time RT-PCR showed Ln5-γ2 overexpression in SCC cell line, A431, compared with normal keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT. Ln5-γ2 monomer and proteolytically cleaved, biologically active fragments of Ln5-γ2 were identified in SCC tumour extracts. In in vitro raft cultures, which simulate in vivo conditions, Ln5-γ2 siRNA significantly suppressed epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated A431 cell invasion.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that Ln5-γ2 has a role in cutaneous SCC invasion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bowen's Disease / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laminin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • LAMC2 protein, human
  • Laminin