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We have isolated the basement membrane component nicein and performed rotary-shadow analyses using electron microscopy that showed the presence of two forms (I and II) of the protein. Molecular cloning of the cDNA that codes for the 100-kDa chain of the protein revealed that the sequence matches those independently identified for the 105–155-kDa subunit of kalinin, a recently identified basement membrane component. These data demonstrate that nicein and kalinin contain an identical chain. The length of the open reading frame in the cDNA (∼5200 nucleotides) and amino acid sequences obtained from the N-terminus of the 105-kDa kalinin chain showed the occurrence of a precursor polypeptide. This immature polypeptide is probably related to form I, observed by rotary shadowing, while the mature form is related to form II. It is noteworthy that nicein/kalinin subunits share-discrete sequence similarities with the B2 chain of human laminin, but with a cleavage occurring within domain III that eliminates domains IV and V from the final product. The sequence of this subunit is nearly identical to that of B2t, a recently described polypeptide supposed to be related to a new laminin variant. Since nicein/kalinin expression is specifically impaired in the severe genodermatosis Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa, the role and structure of this tissue-restricted laminin variant is crucial for the understanding of epidermal-dermal adhesion.