Motor axons preferentially reinnervate original synaptic sites on denervated muscle fibers. We have shown that components of synaptic basal lamina direct this selectivity, and we identified a protein, s-laminin, that is concentrated in synaptic basal lamina. Here, we report that a recombinant s-laminin fragment inhibits neurite outgrowth promoted by laminin. A tripeptide sequence in this fragment, Leu-Arg-Glu (LRE), contributes to this inhibition and is itself sufficient to inhibit outgrowth. LRE-mediated inhibition is selective for motoneuron-like cells and is observed in mixtures with several, but not all, outgrowth-promoting substrates. Growth cones extending on laminin stop for up to several hours upon contacting deposits of the s-laminin fragment. Thus, LRE may serve as a cell type-selective and context-dependent target-derived signal that plays a role in synapse formation.