Critical Laminin Molecule Shaped Like a Cross-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
Laminin, a protein found in the human body that “holds us together,” is shaped like a cross in what some people suggest is religious symbolism.
It’s true that laminin proteins play a critical role in sustaining life, and it’s also true that laminin proteins are shaped like crosses.
Laminins are a family of large “multidomain glycoproteins” that play an important role at the cellular level of every living human and animal. As so-called “basement membranes,” laminin are responsible for critical functions at the cellular level. Things like stimulating growth and communication between cells is done by laminin, according to an academic article published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
And laminin pictures circling the web show a protein molecule in the shape of a crucifix, which is actually what laminin protein looks like. The academic article explains that laminin’s cross shape makes it “well suited for mediating between distant sites on cells and other components of the extracellular matrix.”
A true image of laminin would show a rod-like molecule in a “cruciform shape” — but an imperfect one. Biophysics researchers found that laminin had three “short” arms and one longer arm, giving laminin a cross-like shape. Further research found, however, that one of the shorter arms is longer than the other two, which gives laminin protein a cruciform shape, but an imperfect one.
So, because laminin cells are critical to life, and because laminin is shaped like a cross, we’re classifying this rumor as true.