Basement Membrane: A darkly stained mat-like EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX (ECM) that separates cell layers, such as EPITHELIUM from ENDOTHELIUM or a layer of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. The ECM layer that supports an overlying EPITHELIUM or ENDOTHELIUM is called basal lamina. Basement membrane (BM) can be formed by the fusion of either two adjacent basal laminae or a basal lamina with an adjacent reticular lamina of connective tissue. BM, composed mainly of TYPE IV COLLAGEN; glycoprotein LAMININ; and PROTEOGLYCAN, provides barriers as well as channels between interacting cell layers.Laminin: Large, noncollagenous glycoprotein with antigenic properties. It is localized in the basement membrane lamina lucida and functions to bind epithelial cells to the basement membrane. Evidence suggests that the protein plays a role in tumor invasion.Glomerular Basement Membrane: The layer of EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX that lies between the ENDOTHELIUM of the glomerular capillaries and the PODOCYTES of the inner or visceral layer of the BOWMAN CAPSULE. It is the product of these two cell types. It acts as a physical barrier and an ion-selective filter.Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane Disease: An autoimmune disease of the KIDNEY and the LUNG. It is characterized by the presence of circulating autoantibodies targeting the epitopes in the non-collagenous domains of COLLAGEN TYPE IV in the basement membranes of kidney glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) and lung alveoli (PULMONARY ALVEOLI), and the subsequent destruction of these basement membranes. Clinical features include pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage and glomerulonephritis.Kidney Glomerulus: A cluster of convoluted capillaries beginning at each nephric tubule in the kidney and held together by connective tissue.Membranes: Thin layers of tissue which cover parts of the body, separate adjacent cavities, or connect adjacent structures.Collagen Type IV: A non-fibrillar collagen found in the structure of BASEMENT MEMBRANE. Collagen type IV molecules assemble to form a sheet-like network which is involved in maintaining the structural integrity of basement membranes. The predominant form of the protein is comprised of two alpha1(IV) subunits and one alpha2(IV) subunit, however, at least six different alpha subunits can be incorporated into the heterotrimer.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Membrane Lipids: Lipids, predominantly phospholipids, cholesterol and small amounts of glycolipids found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. These lipids may be arranged in bilayers in the membranes with integral proteins between the layers and peripheral proteins attached to the outside. Membrane lipids are required for active transport, several enzymatic activities and membrane formation.Collagen: A polypeptide substance comprising about one third of the total protein in mammalian organisms. It is the main constituent of SKIN; CONNECTIVE TISSUE; and the organic substance of bones (BONE AND BONES) and teeth (TOOTH).Intracellular Membranes: Thin structures that encapsulate subcellular structures or ORGANELLES in EUKARYOTIC CELLS. They include a variety of membranes associated with the CELL NUCLEUS; the MITOCHONDRIA; the GOLGI APPARATUS; the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM; LYSOSOMES; PLASTIDS; and VACUOLES.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Membranes, Artificial: Artificially produced membranes, such as semipermeable membranes used in artificial kidney dialysis (RENAL DIALYSIS), monomolecular and bimolecular membranes used as models to simulate biological CELL MEMBRANES. These membranes are also used in the process of GUIDED TISSUE REGENERATION.Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans: Ubiquitous macromolecules associated with the cell surface and extracellular matrix of a wide range of cells of vertebrate and invertebrate tissues. They are essential cofactors in cell-matrix adhesion processes, in cell-cell recognition systems, and in receptor-growth factor interactions. (From Cancer Metastasis Rev 1996; 15(2): 177-86; Hepatology 1996; 24(3): 524-32)Extracellular Matrix: A meshwork-like substance found within the extracellular space and in association with the basement membrane of the cell surface. It promotes cellular proliferation and provides a supporting structure to which cells or cell lysates in culture dishes adhere.Nephritis, Hereditary: A group of inherited conditions characterized initially by HEMATURIA and slowly progressing to RENAL INSUFFICIENCY. The most common form is the Alport syndrome (hereditary nephritis with HEARING LOSS) which is caused by mutations in genes for TYPE IV COLLAGEN and defective GLOMERULAR BASEMENT MEMBRANE.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Glomerulonephritis: Inflammation of the renal glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) that can be classified by the type of glomerular injuries including antibody deposition, complement activation, cellular proliferation, and glomerulosclerosis. These structural and functional abnormalities usually lead to HEMATURIA; PROTEINURIA; HYPERTENSION; and RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Erythrocyte Membrane: The semi-permeable outer structure of a red blood cell. It is known as a red cell 'ghost' after HEMOLYSIS.Membrane Fluidity: The motion of phospholipid molecules within the lipid bilayer, dependent on the classes of phospholipids present, their fatty acid composition and degree of unsaturation of the acyl chains, the cholesterol concentration, and temperature.Cell Membrane Permeability: A quality of cell membranes which permits the passage of solvents and solutes into and out of cells.Heparitin Sulfate: A heteropolysaccharide that is similar in structure to HEPARIN. It accumulates in individuals with MUCOPOLYSACCHARIDOSIS.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Epithelium: One or more layers of EPITHELIAL CELLS, supported by the basal lamina, which covers the inner or outer surfaces of the body.Proteoglycans: Glycoproteins which have a very high polysaccharide content.Capillaries: The minute vessels that connect the arterioles and venules.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Fibronectins: Glycoproteins found on the surfaces of cells, particularly in fibrillar structures. The proteins are lost or reduced when these cells undergo viral or chemical transformation. They are highly susceptible to proteolysis and are substrates for activated blood coagulation factor VIII. The forms present in plasma are called cold-insoluble globulins.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Descemet Membrane: A layer of the cornea. It is the basal lamina of the CORNEAL ENDOTHELIUM (from which it is secreted) separating it from the CORNEAL STROMA. It is a homogeneous structure composed of fine collagenous filaments, and slowly increases in thickness with age.Cell Adhesion: Adherence of cells to surfaces or to other cells.Epithelial Cells: Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers (EPITHELIUM) or masses. Epithelial cells lining the SKIN; the MOUTH; the NOSE; and the ANAL CANAL derive from ectoderm; those lining the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM and the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM derive from endoderm; others (CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM and LYMPHATIC SYSTEM) derive from mesoderm. Epithelial cells can be classified mainly by cell shape and function into squamous, glandular and transitional epithelial cells.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans: Proteoglycans consisting of proteins linked to one or more CHONDROITIN SULFATE-containing oligosaccharide chains.Proteinuria: The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of KIDNEY DISEASES.Dystroglycans: Dystrophin-associated proteins that play role in the formation of a transmembrane link between laminin-2 and DYSTROPHIN. Both the alpha and the beta subtypes of dystroglycan originate via POST-TRANSLATIONAL PROTEIN PROCESSING of a single precursor protein.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Receptors, Laminin: Glycoprotein molecules on the surface of cells that react with or bind to laminin whose function allows the binding of epithelial cells to the basement membrane. The molecular weight of this high-affinity receptor is 67 kD.Membrane Transport Proteins: Membrane proteins whose primary function is to facilitate the transport of molecules across a biological membrane. Included in this broad category are proteins involved in active transport (BIOLOGICAL TRANSPORT, ACTIVE), facilitated transport and ION CHANNELS.Nephritis: Inflammation of any part of the KIDNEY.Kidney Tubules: Long convoluted tubules in the nephrons. They collect filtrate from blood passing through the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS and process this filtrate into URINE. Each renal tubule consists of a BOWMAN CAPSULE; PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE; LOOP OF HENLE; DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE; and KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCT leading to the central cavity of the kidney (KIDNEY PELVIS) that connects to the URETER.Collagen Type XVIII: A non-fibrillar collagen found in BASEMENT MEMBRANE. The C-terminal end of the alpha1 chain of collagen type XVIII contains the ENDOSTATIN peptide, which can be released by proteolytic cleavage.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from CYTOKINESIS which is the process of dividing the CYTOPLASM of a cell.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.Hemidesmosomes: An anchoring junction of the cell to a non-cellular substrate, similar in morphology to halves of DESMOSOMES. They are composed of specialized areas of the plasma membrane where INTERMEDIATE FILAMENTS bind on the cytoplasmic face to the transmembrane linkers, INTEGRINS, via intracellular attachment proteins, while the extracellular domain of the integrins binds to EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX PROTEINS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Antibodies: Immunoglobulin molecules having a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which they interact only with the ANTIGEN (or a very similar shape) that induced their synthesis in cells of the lymphoid series (especially PLASMA CELLS).Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Microscopy, Electron, Transmission: Electron microscopy in which the ELECTRONS or their reaction products that pass down through the specimen are imaged below the plane of the specimen.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Lipid Bilayers: Layers of lipid molecules which are two molecules thick. Bilayer systems are frequently studied as models of biological membranes.Microscopy, Immunoelectron: Microscopy in which the samples are first stained immunocytochemically and then examined using an electron microscope. Immunoelectron microscopy is used extensively in diagnostic virology as part of very sensitive immunoassays.Microbial Collagenase: A metalloproteinase which degrades helical regions of native collagen to small fragments. Preferred cleavage is -Gly in the sequence -Pro-Xaa-Gly-Pro-. Six forms (or 2 classes) have been isolated from Clostridium histolyticum that are immunologically cross-reactive but possess different sequences and different specificities. Other variants have been isolated from Bacillus cereus, Empedobacter collagenolyticum, Pseudomonas marinoglutinosa, and species of Vibrio and Streptomyces. EC 3.4.24.3.Amnion: The innermost membranous sac that surrounds and protects the developing embryo which is bathed in the AMNIOTIC FLUID. Amnion cells are secretory EPITHELIAL CELLS and contribute to the amniotic fluid.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Glycosaminoglycans: Heteropolysaccharides which contain an N-acetylated hexosamine in a characteristic repeating disaccharide unit. The repeating structure of each disaccharide involves alternate 1,4- and 1,3-linkages consisting of either N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect: A form of fluorescent antibody technique commonly used to detect serum antibodies and immune complexes in tissues and microorganisms in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. The technique involves formation of an antigen-antibody complex which is labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody. (From Bennington, Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)Integrins: A family of transmembrane glycoproteins (MEMBRANE GLYCOPROTEINS) consisting of noncovalent heterodimers. They interact with a wide variety of ligands including EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX PROTEINS; COMPLEMENT, and other cells, while their intracellular domains interact with the CYTOSKELETON. The integrins consist of at least three identified families: the cytoadhesin receptors(RECEPTORS, CYTOADHESIN), the leukocyte adhesion receptors (RECEPTORS, LEUKOCYTE ADHESION), and the VERY LATE ANTIGEN RECEPTORS. Each family contains a common beta-subunit (INTEGRIN BETA CHAINS) combined with one or more distinct alpha-subunits (INTEGRIN ALPHA CHAINS). These receptors participate in cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion in many physiologically important processes, including embryological development; HEMOSTASIS; THROMBOSIS; WOUND HEALING; immune and nonimmune defense mechanisms; and oncogenic transformation.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Mitochondrial Membranes: The two lipoprotein layers in the MITOCHONDRION. The outer membrane encloses the entire mitochondrion and contains channels with TRANSPORT PROTEINS to move molecules and ions in and out of the organelle. The inner membrane folds into cristae and contains many ENZYMES important to cell METABOLISM and energy production (MITOCHONDRIAL ATP SYNTHASE).Glycoproteins: Conjugated protein-carbohydrate compounds including mucins, mucoid, and amyloid glycoproteins.Microscopy, Electron, Scanning: Microscopy in which the object is examined directly by an electron beam scanning the specimen point-by-point. The image is constructed by detecting the products of specimen interactions that are projected above the plane of the sample, such as backscattered electrons. Although SCANNING TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY also scans the specimen point by point with the electron beam, the image is constructed by detecting the electrons, or their interaction products that are transmitted through the sample plane, so that is a form of TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Podocytes: Highly differentiated epithelial cells of the visceral layer of BOWMAN CAPSULE of the KIDNEY. They are composed of a cell body with major CELL SURFACE EXTENSIONS and secondary fingerlike extensions called pedicels. They enwrap the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS capillaries with their cell surface extensions forming a filtration structure. The pedicels of neighboring podocytes interdigitate with each other leaving between them filtration slits that are bridged by an extracellular structure impermeable to large macromolecules called the slit diaphragm, and provide the last barrier to protein loss in the KIDNEY.Cornea: The transparent anterior portion of the fibrous coat of the eye consisting of five layers: stratified squamous CORNEAL EPITHELIUM; BOWMAN MEMBRANE; CORNEAL STROMA; DESCEMET MEMBRANE; and mesenchymal CORNEAL ENDOTHELIUM. It serves as the first refracting medium of the eye. It is structurally continuous with the SCLERA, avascular, receiving its nourishment by permeation through spaces between the lamellae, and is innervated by the ophthalmic division of the TRIGEMINAL NERVE via the ciliary nerves and those of the surrounding conjunctiva which together form plexuses. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Metalloendopeptidases: ENDOPEPTIDASES which use a metal such as ZINC in the catalytic mechanism.Vitelline Membrane: The plasma membrane of the egg.Autoantigens: Endogenous tissue constituents that have the ability to interact with AUTOANTIBODIES and cause an immune response.Pemphigoid, Bullous: A chronic and relatively benign subepidermal blistering disease usually of the elderly and without histopathologic acantholysis.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Integrin beta4: Also known as CD104 antigen, this protein is distinguished from other beta integrins by its relatively long cytoplasmic domain (approximately 1000 amino acids vs. approximately 50). Five alternatively spliced isoforms have been described.Endothelium: A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels (ENDOTHELIUM, VASCULAR), lymph vessels (ENDOTHELIUM, LYMPHATIC), and the serous cavities of the body.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Synaptic Membranes: Cell membranes associated with synapses. Both presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes are included along with their integral or tightly associated specializations for the release or reception of transmitters.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Non-Fibrillar Collagens: A family of structurally-related short-chain collagens that do not form large fibril bundles.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Skin: The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment. It is composed of the DERMIS and the EPIDERMIS.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous: Skin diseases characterized by local or general distributions of blisters. They are classified according to the site and mode of blister formation. Lesions can appear spontaneously or be precipitated by infection, trauma, or sunlight. Etiologies include immunologic and genetic factors. (From Scientific American Medicine, 1990)Extracellular Matrix Proteins: Macromolecular organic compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and usually, sulfur. These macromolecules (proteins) form an intricate meshwork in which cells are embedded to construct tissues. Variations in the relative types of macromolecules and their organization determine the type of extracellular matrix, each adapted to the functional requirements of the tissue. The two main classes of macromolecules that form the extracellular matrix are: glycosaminoglycans, usually linked to proteins (proteoglycans), and fibrous proteins (e.g., COLLAGEN; ELASTIN; FIBRONECTINS; and LAMININ).Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Cell Adhesion Molecules: Surface ligands, usually glycoproteins, that mediate cell-to-cell adhesion. Their functions include the assembly and interconnection of various vertebrate systems, as well as maintenance of tissue integration, wound healing, morphogenic movements, cellular migrations, and metastasis.Permeability: Property of membranes and other structures to permit passage of light, heat, gases, liquids, metabolites, and mineral ions.Cell Fractionation: Techniques to partition various components of the cell into SUBCELLULAR FRACTIONS.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Liposomes: Artificial, single or multilaminar vesicles (made from lecithins or other lipids) that are used for the delivery of a variety of biological molecules or molecular complexes to cells, for example, drug delivery and gene transfer. They are also used to study membranes and membrane proteins.Bruch Membrane: The inner layer of CHOROID, also called the lamina basalis choroideae, located adjacent to the RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM; (RPE) of the EYE. It is a membrane composed of the basement membranes of the choriocapillaris ENDOTHELIUM and that of the RPE. The membrane stops at the OPTIC NERVE, as does the RPE.Integrin alpha3beta1: Cell surface receptor for LAMININ, epiligrin, FIBRONECTINS, entactin, and COLLAGEN. Integrin alpha3beta1 is the major integrin present in EPITHELIAL CELLS, where it plays a role in the assembly of BASEMENT MEMBRANE as well as in cell migration, and may regulate the functions of other integrins. Two alternatively spliced isoforms of the alpha subunit (INTEGRIN ALPHA3), are differentially expressed in different cell types.Drug Combinations: Single preparations containing two or more active agents, for the purpose of their concurrent administration as a fixed dose mixture.Epidermis: The external, nonvascular layer of the skin. It is made up, from within outward, of five layers of EPITHELIUM: (1) basal layer (stratum basale epidermidis); (2) spinous layer (stratum spinosum epidermidis); (3) granular layer (stratum granulosum epidermidis); (4) clear layer (stratum lucidum epidermidis); and (5) horny layer (stratum corneum epidermidis).Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Hematuria: Presence of blood in the urine.Nephritis, Interstitial: Inflammation of the interstitial tissue of the kidney. This term is generally used for primary inflammation of KIDNEY TUBULES and/or surrounding interstitium. For primary inflammation of glomerular interstitium, see GLOMERULONEPHRITIS. Infiltration of the inflammatory cells into the interstitial compartment results in EDEMA, increased spaces between the tubules, and tubular renal dysfunction.Neoplasm Invasiveness: Ability of neoplasms to infiltrate and actively destroy surrounding tissue.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Keratinocytes: Epidermal cells which synthesize keratin and undergo characteristic changes as they move upward from the basal layers of the epidermis to the cornified (horny) layer of the skin. Successive stages of differentiation of the keratinocytes forming the epidermal layers are basal cell, spinous or prickle cell, and the granular cell.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Hydrogen-Ion Concentration: The normality of a solution with respect to HYDROGEN ions; H+. It is related to acidity measurements in most cases by pH = log 1/2[1/(H+)], where (H+) is the hydrogen ion concentration in gram equivalents per liter of solution. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Matrix Metalloproteinase 9: An endopeptidase that is structurally similar to MATRIX METALLOPROTEINASE 2. It degrades GELATIN types I and V; COLLAGEN TYPE IV; and COLLAGEN TYPE V.Epithelium, Corneal: Stratified squamous epithelium that covers the outer surface of the CORNEA. It is smooth and contains many free nerve endings.Glomerulonephritis, Membranous: A type of glomerulonephritis that is characterized by the accumulation of immune deposits (COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX) on the outer aspect of the GLOMERULAR BASEMENT MEMBRANE. It progresses from subepithelial dense deposits, to basement membrane reaction and eventual thickening of the basement membrane.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Detergents: Purifying or cleansing agents, usually salts of long-chain aliphatic bases or acids, that exert cleansing (oil-dissolving) and antimicrobial effects through a surface action that depends on possessing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties.Morphogenesis: The development of anatomical structures to create the form of a single- or multi-cell organism. Morphogenesis provides form changes of a part, parts, or the whole organism.Mice, Inbred C57BLAntigens, CD29: Integrin beta-1 chains which are expressed as heterodimers that are noncovalently associated with specific alpha-chains of the CD49 family (CD49a-f). CD29 is expressed on resting and activated leukocytes and is a marker for all of the very late activation antigens on cells. (from: Barclay et al., The Leukocyte Antigen FactsBook, 1993, p164)Endoplasmic Reticulum: A system of cisternae in the CYTOPLASM of many cells. In places the endoplasmic reticulum is continuous with the plasma membrane (CELL MEMBRANE) or outer membrane of the nuclear envelope. If the outer surfaces of the endoplasmic reticulum membranes are coated with ribosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum is said to be rough-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, ROUGH); otherwise it is said to be smooth-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, SMOOTH). (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Recombinant Fusion Proteins: Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Tumor Cells, Cultured: Cells grown in vitro from neoplastic tissue. If they can be established as a TUMOR CELL LINE, they can be propagated in cell culture indefinitely.Microvilli: Minute projections of cell membranes which greatly increase the surface area of the cell.Immunoenzyme Techniques: Immunologic techniques based on the use of: (1) enzyme-antibody conjugates; (2) enzyme-antigen conjugates; (3) antienzyme antibody followed by its homologous enzyme; or (4) enzyme-antienzyme complexes. These are used histologically for visualizing or labeling tissue specimens.Integrin alpha6: An integrin alpha subunit that primarily associates with INTEGRIN BETA1 or INTEGRIN BETA4 to form laminin-binding heterodimers. Integrin alpha6 has two alternatively spliced isoforms: integrin alpha6A and integrin alpha6B, which differ in their cytoplasmic domains and are regulated in a tissue-specific and developmental stage-specific manner.Histocytochemistry: Study of intracellular distribution of chemicals, reaction sites, enzymes, etc., by means of staining reactions, radioactive isotope uptake, selective metal distribution in electron microscopy, or other methods.Fibroblasts: Connective tissue cells which secrete an extracellular matrix rich in collagen and other macromolecules.Integrin alpha6beta4: This intrgrin is a key component of HEMIDESMOSOMES and is required for their formation and maintenance in epithelial cells. Integrin alpha6beta4 is also found on thymocytes, fibroblasts, and Schwann cells, where it functions as a laminin receptor (RECEPTORS, LAMININ) and is involved in wound healing, cell migration, and tumor invasiveness.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.Immunoblotting: Immunologic method used for detecting or quantifying immunoreactive substances. The substance is identified by first immobilizing it by blotting onto a membrane and then tagging it with labeled antibodies.Golgi Apparatus: A stack of flattened vesicles that functions in posttranslational processing and sorting of proteins, receiving them from the rough ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM and directing them to secretory vesicles, LYSOSOMES, or the CELL MEMBRANE. The movement of proteins takes place by transfer vesicles that bud off from the rough endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi apparatus and fuse with the Golgi, lysosomes or cell membrane. (From Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Lens, Crystalline: A transparent, biconvex structure of the EYE, enclosed in a capsule and situated behind the IRIS and in front of the vitreous humor (VITREOUS BODY). It is slightly overlapped at its margin by the ciliary processes. Adaptation by the CILIARY BODY is crucial for OCULAR ACCOMMODATION.Cytoplasm: The part of a cell that contains the CYTOSOL and small structures excluding the CELL NUCLEUS; MITOCHONDRIA; and large VACUOLES. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Collagenases: Enzymes that catalyze the degradation of collagen by acting on the peptide bonds.Cell Division: The fission of a CELL. It includes CYTOKINESIS, when the CYTOPLASM of a cell is divided, and CELL NUCLEUS DIVISION.Staining and Labeling: The marking of biological material with a dye or other reagent for the purpose of identifying and quantitating components of tissues, cells or their extracts.Extraembryonic Membranes: The thin layers of tissue that surround the developing embryo. There are four extra-embryonic membranes commonly found in VERTEBRATES, such as REPTILES; BIRDS; and MAMMALS. They are the YOLK SAC, the ALLANTOIS, the AMNION, and the CHORION. These membranes provide protection and means to transport nutrients and wastes.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.Cell Polarity: Orientation of intracellular structures especially with respect to the apical and basolateral domains of the plasma membrane. Polarized cells must direct proteins from the Golgi apparatus to the appropriate domain since tight junctions prevent proteins from diffusing between the two domains.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Endothelium, Vascular: Single pavement layer of cells which line the luminal surface of the entire vascular system and regulate the transport of macromolecules and blood components.Amino Acids: Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits which are polymerized to form proteins.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Phosphatidylcholines: Derivatives of phosphatidic acids in which the phosphoric acid is bound in ester linkage to a choline moiety. Complete hydrolysis yields 1 mole of glycerol, phosphoric acid and choline and 2 moles of fatty acids.Kidney Cortex: The outer zone of the KIDNEY, beneath the capsule, consisting of KIDNEY GLOMERULUS; KIDNEY TUBULES, DISTAL; and KIDNEY TUBULES, PROXIMAL.Nephrosis: Pathological processes of the KIDNEY without inflammatory or neoplastic components. Nephrosis may be a primary disorder or secondary complication of other diseases. It is characterized by the NEPHROTIC SYNDROME indicating the presence of PROTEINURIA and HYPOALBUMINEMIA with accompanying EDEMA.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Biopsy: Removal and pathologic examination of specimens in the form of small pieces of tissue from the living body.Solubility: The ability of a substance to be dissolved, i.e. to form a solution with another substance. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Actins: Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or F-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or G-actin. In conjunction with MYOSINS, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Blood Vessels: Any of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).Collagen Type VII: A non-fibrillar collagen involved in anchoring the epidermal BASEMENT MEMBRANE to underlying tissue. It is a homotrimer comprised of C-terminal and N-terminal globular domains connected by a central triple-helical region.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Anions: Negatively charged atoms, radicals or groups of atoms which travel to the anode or positive pole during electrolysis.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Organ Culture Techniques: A technique for maintenance or growth of animal organs in vitro. It refers to three-dimensional cultures of undisaggregated tissue retaining some or all of the histological features of the tissue in vivo. (Freshney, Culture of Animal Cells, 3d ed, p1)Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Temperature: The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.Reticulin: A scleroprotein fibril consisting mostly of type III collagen. Reticulin fibrils are extremely thin, with a diameter of between 0.5 and 2 um. They are involved in maintaining the structural integrity in a variety of organs.Wound Healing: Restoration of integrity to traumatized tissue.Integrin alpha6beta1: A cell surface receptor mediating cell adhesion to the EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX and to other cells via binding to LAMININ. It is involved in cell migration, embryonic development, leukocyte activation and tumor cell invasiveness. Integrin alpha6beta1 is the major laminin receptor on PLATELETS; LEUKOCYTES; and many EPITHELIAL CELLS, and ligand binding may activate a number of signal transduction pathways. Alternative splicing of the cytoplasmic domain of the alpha6 subunit (INTEGRIN ALPHA6) results in the formation of A and B isoforms of the heterodimer, which are expressed in a tissue-specific manner.Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Freeze Fracturing: Preparation for electron microscopy of minute replicas of exposed surfaces of the cell which have been ruptured in the frozen state. The specimen is frozen, then cleaved under high vacuum at the same temperature. The exposed surface is shadowed with carbon and platinum and coated with carbon to obtain a carbon replica.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Endocytosis: Cellular uptake of extracellular materials within membrane-limited vacuoles or microvesicles. ENDOSOMES play a central role in endocytosis.Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Macromolecular Substances: Compounds and molecular complexes that consist of very large numbers of atoms and are generally over 500 kDa in size. In biological systems macromolecular substances usually can be visualized using ELECTRON MICROSCOPY and are distinguished from ORGANELLES by the lack of a membrane structure.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Glomerular Mesangium: The thin membranous structure supporting the adjoining glomerular capillaries. It is composed of GLOMERULAR MESANGIAL CELLS and their EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX.Pericytes: Unique slender cells with multiple processes extending along the capillary vessel axis and encircling the vascular wall, also called mural cells. Pericytes are imbedded in the BASEMENT MEMBRANE shared with the ENDOTHELIAL CELLS of the vessel. Pericytes are important in maintaining vessel integrity, angiogenesis, and vascular remodeling.Erythrocytes: Red blood cells. Mature erythrocytes are non-nucleated, biconcave disks containing HEMOGLOBIN whose function is to transport OXYGEN.Immune Complex Diseases: Group of diseases mediated by the deposition of large soluble complexes of antigen and antibody with resultant damage to tissue. Besides SERUM SICKNESS and the ARTHUS REACTION, evidence supports a pathogenic role for immune complexes in many other IMMUNE SYSTEM DISEASES including GLOMERULONEPHRITIS, systemic lupus erythematosus (LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, SYSTEMIC) and POLYARTERITIS NODOSA.Antibody Specificity: The property of antibodies which enables them to react with some ANTIGENIC DETERMINANTS and not with others. Specificity is dependent on chemical composition, physical forces, and molecular structure at the binding site.Pepsin A: Formed from pig pepsinogen by cleavage of one peptide bond. The enzyme is a single polypeptide chain and is inhibited by methyl 2-diaazoacetamidohexanoate. It cleaves peptides preferentially at the carbonyl linkages of phenylalanine or leucine and acts as the principal digestive enzyme of gastric juice.Agrin: A protein component of the synaptic basal lamina. It has been shown to induce clustering of acetylcholine receptors on the surface of muscle fibers and other synaptic molecules in both synapse regeneration and development.Epidermolysis Bullosa: Group of genetically determined disorders characterized by the blistering of skin and mucosae. There are four major forms: acquired, simple, junctional, and dystrophic. Each of the latter three has several varieties.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Immunologic Techniques: Techniques used to demonstrate or measure an immune response, and to identify or measure antigens using antibodies.Cytoskeleton: The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm.Retinal Vessels: The blood vessels which supply and drain the RETINA.Connective Tissue: Tissue that supports and binds other tissues. It consists of CONNECTIVE TISSUE CELLS embedded in a large amount of EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX.Fluorescent Dyes: Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.Cell Membrane Structures: Structures which are part of the CELL MEMBRANE or have cell membrane as a major part of their structure.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Potassium: An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.Corneal Diseases: Diseases of the cornea.Seminiferous Tubules: The convoluted tubules in the TESTIS where sperm are produced (SPERMATOGENESIS) and conveyed to the RETE TESTIS. Spermatogenic tubules are composed of developing germ cells and the supporting SERTOLI CELLS.Receptors, Cell Surface: Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.Cytoskeletal Proteins: Major constituent of the cytoskeleton found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They form a flexible framework for the cell, provide attachment points for organelles and formed bodies, and make communication between parts of the cell possible.Nephrotic Syndrome: A condition characterized by severe PROTEINURIA, greater than 3.5 g/day in an average adult. The substantial loss of protein in the urine results in complications such as HYPOPROTEINEMIA; generalized EDEMA; HYPERTENSION; and HYPERLIPIDEMIAS. Diseases associated with nephrotic syndrome generally cause chronic kidney dysfunction.Chromatography, Affinity: A chromatographic technique that utilizes the ability of biological molecules to bind to certain ligands specifically and reversibly. It is used in protein biochemistry. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.Protein Structure, Secondary: The level of protein structure in which regular hydrogen-bond interactions within contiguous stretches of polypeptide chain give rise to alpha helices, beta strands (which align to form beta sheets) or other types of coils. This is the first folding level of protein conformation.Intercellular Junctions: Direct contact of a cell with a neighboring cell. Most such junctions are too small to be resolved by light microscopy, but they can be visualized by conventional or freeze-fracture electron microscopy, both of which show that the interacting CELL MEMBRANE and often the underlying CYTOPLASM and the intervening EXTRACELLULAR SPACE are highly specialized in these regions. (From Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2d ed, p792)