Kalinin was purified from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC25) spent culture media using an immunoaffinity column prepared from the mAb BM165. The affinity-purified material was separated by SDS-PAGE into three bands of 165-155, 140, and 105 kD identical to those obtained from normal human keratinocyte cultures and previously identified as kalinin. Kalinin promoted adhesion of a large number of normal cells and established cell lines with an activity similar to other adhesion molecules such as the laminin-nidogen complex, fibronectin, or collagen IV. However, kalinin was a much better substrate than laminin-nidogen complex for adhesion of cells of epithelial origin including primary human keratinocytes. Adhesion to kalinin was followed by cell shape changes ranging from rounded to fully spread cells depending on the cell types. The adhesion-promoting activity of kalinin was conformation dependent and was abolished by heat denaturation. mAb BM165 prevented cell adhesion to kalinin but not to other extracellular matrix substrates. However, either complete or partial inhibition was observed with different cells suggesting the existence of at least two cell-binding sites on the kalinin molecule. Experiments inhibiting cell adhesion with function-blocking anti-integrin subunit antibodies indicated that both alpha 3 beta 1 and alpha 6 beta 1 integrins are involved in the cellular interactions with kalinin, while for cell adhesion to classical mouse Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm laminin only alpha 6 beta 1 integrins, and not alpha 3 beta 1, appeared to be functional. Altogether, these results suggest that kalinin may fulfill additional functions than laminin, particularly for epithelial cells.

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