By Elrich van der Spuy
Pathology is one of the fields that a student must master to earn a medical doctor degree. The subject combines many into one discipline collectively called Pathology.
Due to the plague, lockdown and disposable time at hand in lieu of lectures and labs, I decided to revisit some of my first-year work.
I chose to reread my Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease textbook. Chapters one to 10 highlights general pathology. I revisited these concepts before continuing to the system-based pathology with an emphasis on the heart. During this review I encountered the scientific technicalities of laminin.
I immediately remembered what a great impact Louie Giglio’s video on laminin had on my life. I decided to dig deeper into this cell adhesion molecule. I looked for The Gospel hidden in this protein. Instead I found several complex articles that were dishearteningly gibberish. While searching GOD reminded me that The Message is actually the “simple” Gospel. Rather than a long scientific explanation, I will share what GOD revealed to me with regard to laminin and His Word.
All sheets of epithelial, nerves, muscles and vessels have basement membranes. Having a functional basement membrane is critical to holding tissues together. The basement membrane is the foundation upon which all tissues are assembled. It is considered the “glue” of the human body.
Laminins are one of two families of structural proteins that are present in every basement membrane, the other being type four collagens. It is due to this role that much of the early research into laminins took place. Whenever the basement membrane of the skin goes wrong either because of an inherited genetic mutation or due to autoimmune disease a person may get extensive problems.
It is not only inherited disorders that impact laminin function, there is a growing list of other conditions where changes to laminin abundance/expression patterns are associated with the disease. Examples include lung fibrosis, the corneal thinning disease “keratoconus,” chronic non-healing wounds and reductions of specific laminins are associated with aging.
Laminins are also important in keeping cells in the appropriate place. Laminins can be used as a road for cells to migrate. Changes to laminin expression is associated with different cancer subtypes.
The varying tissues affected in these multiple genetic disease points to tissue-specific roles for the laminins. There are at least 16 laminin subtypes. Much work is now going about exploring and exploiting the context functional specificity controls with regard to how cells behave. This is most useful in tissue engineering fields, where stem cells can be driven down a specific pathway. For example, in order to become an insulin producing pancreatic cell the cells are exposed to right type of laminin.
Each laminin molecule is made up of three subunits termed alpha, beta, and gamma. Each of these subunits are derived from a separate gene of which there are five alpha chains, three beta and three gammas in humans. These assemble inside the cell before being deposited as either an approximate cross, anchor or T-shaped mature protein.
This means that one ALPHA (α), one BETA (β) and one GAMMA (γ) chain will form a respective specific isomer type. For example, combinations of ingredients will form many specific types of soft drinks, yet generally they remain soft drinks. To give a practical example, laminin type α2β1γ1 we will find in the Thymic epithelium, and laminin type α5β2γ1 we can expect to find in the renal glomerular endothelium.
To summarize laminin: It is awesome! The best way to summarize the scientific part of laminin is to quote the text from my pathology book as follows.
“Laminin is the most abundant glycoprotein in the basement membrane. It is a heterodimer that connects cells to the underlying extracellular matrix components such as type (four) collagen. Besides mediating attachment to the basement membrane, laminin can also modulate cell proliferation, differentiation and motility.”
Note: Laminin, which holds together our human bodies, symbolically and beautifully resembles The Cross of Christ Jesus, Who holds together the universe.
The way I read this is: “Besides holding us together in a world that seems to be falling apart, GOD has inserted Himself into our lives and our very flesh, so that He can heal, restore, and set in motion the miracle that is us.”
When the second laminin is defective in our bodies we see pathology. Laminin is literally the fundamental “substance” that holds the “substance” in our bodies together. I think that it is fitting that GOD has left His footprint on this specific protein. Out of all 80,000 to 400,000 estimated protein types in the human body, GOD chose laminin, as without it all other proteins are useless.
Without GOD at the centre of all, everything will fall apart. The moment we invite GOD to become a part of our lives He inserts and embeds Himself into our DNA! GOD restores areas which are broken, and makes new what satan stole. The LORD sets in motion a purpose and plan for our lives.
This does not mean problems are something of the past. Even a healthy individual may fall and scrape a knee. The difference comes in the healing. Laminin is an integral part of wound healing. Individuals with an impaired laminin function do not heal in a normal physiological way. They heal by “second intension,” which is characterized by scar formation, dead tissue that has lost its function. Only GOD can heal what is broken and restore function. The difference is not a life absent of storms, it is rather knowing you will never be alone in the storm, as GOD is always with us!
I conclude with Scripture related to the different types of laminin that we find in our bodies based on the chains that form them. The chain number represents the chapter and the verse.
• • Α2β2γ1 – Found in striated muscle
— Acts 2:21 “And everyone who calls on the name of The LORD will be saved.”
• • Α1β1γ1 – Found in glands
— Mark 1:11 “And a Voice came from Heaven: ‘You are My Son, Whom I love; with You I Am well pleased.’”
• • Α1β2γ1 – Found in the placenta
— 1 Peter 1:21 “Through Him you believe in GOD, Who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in GOD.”
— Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
• • Α3β1γ1 – Found in Keratinocytes
— Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what GOD has done from beginning to end.”
• • Α5β1γ1 – Found in vascular smooth muscle
— Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may rejoice in You.
The last two laminin molecules remind us that GOD does not always change our circumstances. He does not always calm the storm. He did not calm the storm for Peter, as He said “Keep your eyes on Me”. GOD did not defeat the giant for David, as He allowed David to show his faith. GOD might not change the situation you are in now, but He promises that He will keep holding on to you and give you the strength to keep fighting.
• • Α5β1γ1 – Found in vascular smooth muscle
— 1 John 5:11 “And this is the testimony: GOD has given us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son.”
• • Α5β2γ1 – Found in renal glomerular endothelium
— Job 5:21 “You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.”
Two (2) minutes — “Lou Giglio’s Brief on Laminin:” https://youtu.be/aOgpWNaJU-Y.
Ten (10) minutes — “Lou Giglio’s Short on Laminin:” https://youtu.be/RlG5MT1dIls.
Blessings in The Most High
Article Titled “The ‘Viral’ Gospel” By Elrich van der Spuy (2020): https://landon77daily.com/the-viral-gospel/.