Laminin is the name used for a family of proteins that serve many useful functions in biology. The most important property of laminins is their ability to easily bind to each other and to other proteins. This makes laminin a critical means of holding tissues and organs together. It has been described as the protein equivalent of glue, though it functions differently than actual chemical glue will. These proteins have several short arms that bind easily to other laminins and a single long arm that binds easily to other cell structures and membranes. Flattened out, laminins have a shape generally in the form of a lower case t, which some have compared to the shape of a cross.
This vague resemblance to a cross is the reason for the surge of interest in laminin in some Christian circles. Several years ago, internet videos and emails began to circulate claiming that laminin’s cross-like shape was an intentional sign from God. In particular, these claims made a connection to verses such as Colossians 1:15–17, which, speaking of Christ, says, “In Him all things hold together.” The resemblance of a molecule heavily responsible for the “holding together” of tissues to the symbol for Christ has to be more than coincidence, according to some. The correlation between laminin and the cross has also inspired t-shirts, jewelry, and other variations on the theme.