Two different laminin domains mediate the differentiation of human endothelial cells into capillary-like structures in vitro

Cell. 1989 Sep 8;58(5):933-43. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90945-8.


Endothelial cells, both microvascular as well as large vessel, undergo differentiation slowly in culture under most conditions. When endothelial cells are cultured on Matrigel, a solid gel of basement membrane proteins, they rapidly align and form hollow tube-like structures. We show here that tube formation is a multi-step process induced by laminin. An RGD-containing sequence in the A chain of laminin through an integrin receptor on the endothelial cell induces their attachment to the protein while a YIGSR site in the B1 chain induces cell-cell interactions and the resulting tube formation. We also show that the laminin-derived synthetic peptide YIGSR contains sufficient information to induce single endothelial cells to form ring-like structures surrounding a hollow lumen, the basic putative unit in the formation of capillaries.

MeSH terms

  • Capillaries / cytology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Laminin / physiology*
  • Laminin / ultrastructure
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / physiology
  • Receptors, Laminin


  • Laminin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Laminin