Syndecan heparan sulfate proteoglycans: Regulation, signaling and impact on tumor biology

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Virtually all animal cells express heparan sulfate proteoglycans on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. Syndecans are a major group of transmembrane proteoglycans functioning as receptors that mediate signal transmission from the extracellular microenvironment to the cell. Their heparan sulfate chains, due to their vast structural diversity, interact with a wide array of ligands including potent regulators of adhesion, migration, growth and survival. Frequently, ligands interact with cell surface heparan sulfate in conjunction with high affinity receptors. The consequent signaling can therefore be complex, but it is now known that syndecans are capable of independent signaling. This review is divided in two sections, and will first discuss how the assembly of heparan sulfate, the anabolic process, encodes information related to ligand binding and signaling. Second, we discuss how, in partial catabolic processes, new roles for HSPGs emerge that affect cell behavior. Examples from tumor studies are emphasized, since HSPGs may be altered in composition and distribution and may also represent targets for the development of new therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Glycoscience and Glycotechnology
Issue number163
Pages (from-to)E79-E90
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Cell signaling, Heparan sulfate, Heparanase, Proteoglycan, Sulfatases, Syndecan

ID: 179219020