The 67-kDa laminin receptor originated from a ribosomal protein that acquired a dual function during evolution

Elena Ardini, Graziano Pesole, Elda Tagliabue, Alessandra Magnifico, Vincent Castronovo, Mark E. Sobel, Maria I. Colnaghi, Sylvie Ménard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) is a nonintegrin cell surface receptor that mediates high-affinity interactions between cells and laminin. Overexpression of this protein in tumor cells has been related to tumor invasion and metastasis. Thus far, only a full-length gene encoding a 37-kDa precursor protein (37LRP) has been isolated. The finding that the cDNA for the 37LRP is virtually identical to a cDNA encoding the ribosomal protein p40 has suggested that 37LRP is actually a component of the translational machinery, with no laminin-binding activity. On the other hand, a peptide of 20 amino acids deduced from the sequence of 37LRP/p40 was shown to exhibit high laminin-binding activity. The evolutionary relationship between 23 sequences of 37LRP/p40 proteins was analyzed. This phylogenetic analysis indicated that all of the protein sequences derive from orthologous genes and that the 37LRP is indeed a ribosomal protein that acquired the novel function of laminin receptor during evolution. The evolutionary analysis of the sequence identified as the laminin-binding site in the human protein suggested that the acquisition of the laminin-binding capability is linked to the palindromic sequence LMWWML, which appeared during evolution concomitantly with laminin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1025
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Evolution
  • Metastasis
  • Monomeric laminin receptor
  • Ribosomal proteins
  • Tumor aggressiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Biology


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