Gene Summary

Gene:SDC4; syndecan 4
Aliases: SYND4
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a transmembrane (type I) heparan sulfate proteoglycan that functions as a receptor in intracellular signaling. The encoded protein is found as a homodimer and is a member of the syndecan proteoglycan family. This gene is found on chromosome 20, while a pseudogene has been found on chromosome 22. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 12 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 12 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Promoter Regions
  • Thrombospondin 1
  • Chromosome 20
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cell Cycle
  • Syndecan-4
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Brain Tumours
  • Urothelium
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Transcription
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Western Blotting
  • Protein Binding
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • ras Proteins
  • Staging
  • Proteoglycans
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Syndecan-3
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Syndecan-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Age Factors
  • Pyridines
  • Breast Cancer
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • Lung Cancer
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Brain Tumours
  • Syndecan-1
Tag cloud generated 12 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SDC4 (cancer-related)

Inoue M, Toki H, Matsui J, et al.
Mouse models for ROS1-fusion-positive lung cancers and their application to the analysis of multikinase inhibitor efficiency.
Carcinogenesis. 2016; 37(5):452-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
ROS1-fusion genes, resulting from chromosomal rearrangement, have been reported in 1-2% of human non-small cell lung cancer cases. More than 10 distinct ROS1-fusion genes, including break-point variants, have been identified to date. In this study, to investigate the in vivo oncogenic activities of one of the most frequently detected fusions, CD74-ROS1, as well as another SDC4-ROS1 fusion that has also been reported in several studies, we generated transgenic (TG) mouse strains that express either of the two ROS1-fusion genes specifically in lung alveolar type II cells. Mice in all TG lines developed tumorigenic nodules in the lung, and a few strains of both TG mouse lines demonstrated early-onset nodule development (multiple tumor lesions present in the lung at 2-4 weeks after birth); therefore, these two strains were selected for further investigation. Tumors developed progressively in the untreated TG mice of both lines, whereas those receiving oral administration of an ALK/MET/ROS1 inhibitor, crizotinib, and an ALK/ROS1 inhibitor, ASP3026, showed marked reduction in the tumor burden. Collectively, these data suggest that each of these two ROS1-fusion genes acts as a driver for the pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma in vivo The TG mice developed in this study are expected to serve as valuable tools for exploring novel therapeutic agents against ROS1-fusion-positive lung cancer.

Roblek M, Strutzmann E, Zankl C, et al.
Targeting of CCL2-CCR2-Glycosaminoglycan Axis Using a CCL2 Decoy Protein Attenuates Metastasis through Inhibition of Tumor Cell Seeding.
Neoplasia. 2016; 18(1):49-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CCL2-CCR2 chemokine axis has an important role in cancer progression where it contributes to metastatic dissemination of several cancer types (e.g., colon, breast, prostate). Tumor cell-derived CCL2 was shown to promote the recruitment of CCR2(+)/Ly6C(hi) monocytes and to induce vascular permeability of CCR2(+) endothelial cells in the lungs. Here we describe a novel decoy protein consisting of a CCL2 mutant protein fused to human serum albumin (dnCCL2-HSA chimera) with enhanced binding affinity to glycosaminoglycans that was tested in vivo. The monocyte-mediated tumor cell transendothelial migration was strongly reduced upon unfused dnCCL2 mutant treatment in vitro. dnCCL2-HSA chimera had an extended serum half-life and thus a prolonged exposure in vivo compared with the dnCCL2 mutant. dnCCL2-HSA chimera bound to the lung vasculature but caused minimal alterations in the leukocyte recruitment to the lungs. However, dnCCL2-HSA chimera treatment strongly reduced both lung vascular permeability and tumor cell seeding. Metastasis of MC-38GFP, 3LL, and LLC1 cells was significantly attenuated upon dnCCL2-HSA chimera treatment. Tumor cell seeding to the lungs resulted in enhanced expression of a proteoglycan syndecan-4 by endothelial cells that correlated with accumulation of the dnCCL2-HSA chimera in the vicinity of tumor cells. These findings demonstrate that the CCL2-based decoy protein effectively binds to the activated endothelium in lungs and blocks tumor cell extravasation through inhibition of vascular permeability.

Fu S, Liang Y, Lin YB, et al.
The Frequency and Clinical Implication of ROS1 and RET Rearrangements in Resected Stage IIIA-N2 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0124354 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To evaluate the frequency and clinicopathological features of ROS1 and RET rearrangements in N2 node positive stage IIIA (IIIA-N2) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, we retrospectively screened 204 cases with a tissue microarray (TMA) panel by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and confirmed by direct sequencing and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The relationship between ROS1 or RET rearrangements, clinicopathological features, and prognostic factors were analyzed in resected stage IIIA-N2 NSCLC. Of the 204 cases, 4 cases were confirmed with ROS1 rearrangement, but no RET rearrangement was detected. All 4 ROS1-rearranged cases were adenocarcinomas. The predominant pathological type was acinar pattern in ROS1-rearranged tumors, except for 1 case harboring a mixture acinar and mucous tumor cells. Variants of ROS1 rearrangement were SDC4-ROS1 (E2:E32), SDC4-ROS1 (E4:E32) and SDC4-ROS1 (E4:E34). There was no significant association between ROS1 rearrangement and clinicopathological characteristics. In this cohort, multivariate analysis for overall survival (OS) indicated that squamous cell carcinoma and lobectomy were independent predictors of poor prognosis; R0 surgical resection and non-pleural invasion were independent predictors of good prognosis. In resected stage IIIA-N2 NSCLC patients, ROS1-rearranged cases tended to occur in younger patients with adenocarcinomas. The prognosis of resected stage IIIA-N2 is generally considered poor, but patients with ROS1 rearrangement will benefit from the targeted therapy.

Gerber U, Hoß SG, Shteingauz A, et al.
Latent heparanase facilitates VLA-4-mediated melanoma cell binding and emerges as a relevant target of heparin in the interference with metastatic progression.
Semin Thromb Hemost. 2015; 41(2):244-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Heparanase is an endo-β-glucuronidase that enzymatically cleaves heparan sulfates (HS) and heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) structures. Heparanase expression levels by tumors were correlated with cell invasion, angiogenic activity, and poor prognosis. Heparanase can also possess pro-tumorigenic effects independent of its enzymatic activity. Using human melanoma MV3 cells, we demonstrate that latent heparanase activates in a tightly temporary-regulated manner the binding function of the integrin very late antigen-4 (VLA-4), an important component in the metastatic spread of melanoma cells. shRNA-mediated knockdown of syndecan-4 (SDC-4) indicated that this proteoglycan is the key element to convey heparanase binding via focal adhesion complex formation, detected by vinculin staining, to an upregulated VLA-4 binding function. This inside-out signaling pathway of VLA-4 involved activated FAK and Akt, but apparently not PKCα/δ. VLA-4, however, appears representative of other integrins which together impact the heparanase/integrin activation axis in tumorigenicity. Biosensor measurements provided an insight as to how heparin can interfere with this activation process. While low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) cannot replace heparanase bound to SDC-4, LMWH can compete with SDC-4 binding of heparanase. Since blockade of heparanase by LMWH has functional consequences for reduced VLA-4 binding, latent heparanase appears as a novel, so far unnoticed target of heparin, underlying its antimetastatic activity.

Lim HC, Multhaupt HA, Couchman JR
Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans control adhesion and invasion of breast carcinoma cells.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cell surface proteoglycans interact with numerous regulators of cell behavior through their glycosaminoglycan chains. The syndecan family of transmembrane proteoglycans are virtually ubiquitous cell surface receptors that are implicated in the progression of some tumors, including breast carcinoma. This may derive from their regulation of cell adhesion, but roles for specific syndecans are unresolved.
METHODS: The MDA-MB231 human breast carcinoma cell line was exposed to exogenous glycosaminoglycans and changes in cell behavior monitored by western blotting, immunocytochemistry, invasion and collagen degradation assays. Selected receptors including PAR-1 and syndecans were depleted by siRNA treatments to assess cell morphology and behavior. Immunohistochemistry for syndecan-2 and its interacting partner, caveolin-2 was performed on human breast tumor tissue arrays. Two-tailed paired t-test and one-way ANOVA with Tukey's post-hoc test were used in the analysis of data.
RESULTS: MDA-MB231 cells were shown to be highly sensitive to exogenous heparan sulfate or heparin, promoting increased spreading, focal adhesion and adherens junction formation with concomitantly reduced invasion and matrix degradation. The molecular basis for this effect was revealed to have two components. First, thrombin inhibition contributed to enhanced cell adhesion and reduced invasion. Second, a specific loss of cell surface syndecan-2 was noted. The ensuing junction formation was dependent on syndecan-4, whose role in promoting actin cytoskeletal organization is known. Syndecan-2 interacts with, and may regulate, caveolin-2. Depletion of either molecule had the same adhesion-promoting influence, along with reduced invasion, confirming a role for this complex in maintaining the invasive phenotype of mammary carcinoma cells. Finally, both syndecan-2 and caveolin-2 were upregulated in tissue arrays from breast cancer patients compared to normal mammary tissue. Moreover their expression levels were correlated in triple negative breast cancers.
CONCLUSION: Cell surface proteoglycans, notably syndecan-2, may be important regulators of breast carcinoma progression through regulation of cytoskeleton, cell adhesion and invasion.

Okolicsanyi RK, Buffiere A, Jacinto JM, et al.
Association of heparan sulfate proteoglycans SDC1 and SDC4 polymorphisms with breast cancer in an Australian Caucasian population.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(3):1731-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a common disease in both developing and developed countries with early identification and treatment improving prognosis and survival. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are key components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that mediate cell adhesion, motility, proliferation, invasion and cell signalling. Members of the syndecan family of HSPGs have been identified to be involved in breast cancer progression through their varied interactions with a number of growth factors, ligands and receptors. Specifically, high expression levels of syndecan-1 (SDC1) have been demonstrated in more invasive breast tumours while elevated syndecan-4 (SDC4) levels have been identified to correspond with improved prognosis. With genetic changes in the syndecans and their association with breast cancers plausible, we examined two single nucleotide polymorphisms in SDC1 (rs1131351) and SDC4 (rs67068737) within an Australian Caucasian breast cancer case/control population. No association was found with SDC4 and breast cancer in our population. However, a significant association between SDC1 and breast cancer was identified in both our case/control population and in a replication cohort. When both populations were combined for analysis, this association became more significant (genotype, p = 0.0003; allele, p = 0.0001). This data suggests an increased risk of developing breast cancer associated with the presence of the C allele of the SDC1 rs1131351 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and may provide a marker toward early breast cancer detection.

Chen YF, Hsieh MS, Wu SG, et al.
Clinical and the prognostic characteristics of lung adenocarcinoma patients with ROS1 fusion in comparison with other driver mutations in East Asian populations.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(8):1171-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The prevalence, demographic features, and clinical outcomes of lung adenocarcinoma patients with novel ROS1 oncogenic rearrangement in East Asian populations are not clear. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and prognostic characteristics of lung adenocarcinoma in patients with ROS1 fusion compared with other driver mutations.
METHODS: Multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the ROS1 fusion gene in lung adenocarcinoma cases. Immunohistochemistry was used to confirm the expression of ROS1. The demographic data and clinical outcomes of patients with the ROS1 fusion gene were compared with those of patients without the ROS1 fusion gene, including those with the EGFR mutation, EML4-ALK fusion, KRAS mutation, and quadruple-negative patients.
RESULTS: Of 492 patients with lung adenocarcinoma, 12 (2.4%) had the ROS1 fusion gene. Their median age was 45.0 years, significantly younger than that of the ROS1 fusion-negative cohorts (p < 0.001). Acinar (including cribriform) and solid patterns were the two most common histologic subtypes in the ROS1 fusion tumors (7 of 12, 58.3%) and were predominantly seen in CD74-ROS1 fusion tumors (66.7%). There was no significant survival difference between the ROS1 fusion-positive and ROS1 fusion-negative cohorts in surgical group, but ROS1 fusion-positive patients might have worse outcomes than EGFR-mutant patients in the stage IV group.
CONCLUSIONS: The ROS1 fusion gene can be successfully detected in East Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma using multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. These patients tend to be younger and have characteristic histologic subtypes. Due to the small number of ROS1 fusion patients, the prognostic value of ROS1 fusion need further studies to confirm.

Ellina MI, Bouris P, Aletras AJ, et al.
EGFR and HER2 exert distinct roles on colon cancer cell functional properties and expression of matrix macromolecules.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1840(8):2651-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ErbB receptors, EGFR and HER2, have been implicated in the development and progression of colon cancer. Several intracellular pathways are mediated upon activation of EGFR and/or HER2 by EGF. However, there are limited data regarding the EGF-mediated signaling affecting functional cell properties and the expression of extracellular matrix macromolecules implicated in cancer progression.
METHODS: Functional assays, such as cell proliferation, transwell invasion assay and migration were performed to evaluate the impact of EGFR/HER2 in constitutive and EGF-treated Caco-2 cells. Signaling pathways were evaluated using specific intracellular inhibitors. Western blot was also utilized to examine the phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2. Real time PCR was performed to evaluate gene expression of matrix macromolecules.
RESULTS: EGF increases cell proliferation, invasion and migration and importantly, EGF mediates overexpression of EGFR and downregulation of HER2. The EGF-EGFR axis is the main pathway affecting colon cancer's invasive potential, proliferative and migratory ability. Intracellular pathways (PI3K-Akt, MEK1/2-Erk and JAK-STAT) are all implicated in the migratory profile. Notably, MT1- and MT2-MMP as well as TIMP-2 are downregulated, whereas uPA is upregulated via an EGF-EGFR network. The EGF-EGFR axis is also implicated in the expression of syndecan-4 and TIMP-1. However, glypican-1 upregulation by EGF is mainly mediated via HER2.
CONCLUSIONS AND GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The obtained data highlight the crucial importance of EGF on the expression of both receptors and on the EGF-EGFR/HER2 signaling network, reveal the distinct roles of EGFR and HER2 on expression of matrix macromolecules and open a new area in designing novel agents in targeting colon cancer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Matrix-mediated cell behaviour and properties.

Katoh M
Functional proteomics, human genetics and cancer biology of GIPC family members.
Exp Mol Med. 2013; 45:e26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GIPC1, GIPC2 and GIPC3 consist of GIPC homology 1 (GH1) domain, PDZ domain and GH2 domain. The regions around the GH1 and GH2 domains of GIPC1 are involved in dimerization and interaction with myosin VI (MYO6), respectively. The PDZ domain of GIPC1 is involved in interactions with transmembrane proteins [IGF1R, NTRK1, ADRB1, DRD2, TGFβR3 (transforming growth factorβ receptor type III), SDC4, SEMA4C, LRP1, NRP1, GLUT1, integrin α5 and VANGL2], cytosolic signaling regulators (APPL1 and RGS19) and viral proteins (HBc and HPV-18 E6). GIPC1 is an adaptor protein with dimerizing ability that loads PDZ ligands as cargoes for MYO6-dependent endosomal trafficking. GIPC1 is required for cell-surface expression of IGF1R and TGFβR3. GIPC1 is also required for integrin recycling during cell migration, angiogenesis and cytokinesis. On early endosomes, GIPC1 assembles receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and APPL1 for activation of PI3K-AKT signaling, and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and RGS19 for attenuation of inhibitory Gα signaling. GIPC1 upregulation in breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers promotes tumor proliferation and invasion, whereas GIPC1 downregulation in cervical cancer with human papillomavirus type 18 infection leads to resistance to cytostatic transforming growth factorβ signaling. GIPC2 is downregulated in acute lymphocytic leukemia owing to epigenetic silencing, while Gipc2 is upregulated in estrogen-induced mammary tumors. Somatic mutations of GIPC2 occur in malignant melanoma, and colorectal and ovarian cancers. Germ-line mutations of the GIPC3 or MYO6 gene cause nonsyndromic hearing loss. As GIPC proteins are involved in trafficking, signaling and recycling of RTKs, GPCRs, integrins and other transmembrane proteins, dysregulation of GIPCs results in human pathologies, such as cancer and hereditary deafness.

Erdem M, Erdem S, Sanli O, et al.
Up-regulation of TGM2 with ITGB1 and SDC4 is important in the development and metastasis of renal cell carcinoma.
Urol Oncol. 2014; 32(1):25.e13-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Tissue transglutaminase (TGM2) up-regulation is involved in the progression and dissemination of carcinomas through β1 integrin (ITGB1) association. Given that TGM2 interaction with syndecan-4 (SDC4) on the cell surface is important in the activation of ITGB1 and integrin-mediated survival signaling, we investigated the roles of TGM2, ITGB1, and SDC4 in the development and metastasis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Expression levels of TGM2, ITGB1, and SDC4 mRNA were analyzed in primary tumor samples (n = 95) and their healthy counterparts in addition to control and RCC epithelial cell lines. TGM2 catalytic activity in 60 randomly selected patient samples was measured by enzyme-linked sorbent plate assay.
RESULTS: TGM2 expression ratio showed a significant 2.9-fold decrease in 67 (70.5%) of the primary RCC tumors (P <0.0001) independent of clinical covariates, including tumor node metastasis (TNM) staging and histopathologic grading. For the remaining 28 (29.5%) tumors, a 1.95-fold increase was recorded in the TGM2 expression levels, which also showed a significant increase in ITGB1 and SDC4 expression levels in 82.6% of the overexpression cases (P <0.001). Up-regulation of TGM2 along with ITGB1 and SCD4 was associated with metastasis and a marked decrease in tumor necrosis. Consistently, RCC cell lines exhibited higher levels of TGM2 expression compared with the control epithelial cell line with a significant up-regulation of ITGB1 and SCD4 recorded for the metastatic lines.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that TGM2 up-regulation along with ITGB1 and SDC4 plays an important role in the development of RCC tumors and advanced RCC with metastasis.

Malavaki CJ, Roussidis AE, Gialeli C, et al.
Imatinib as a key inhibitor of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor mediated expression of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans and functional properties of breast cancer cells.
FEBS J. 2013; 280(10):2477-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), syndecans and glypicans, play crucial roles in the functional properties of cancer cells, such as proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)/PDGF receptor (PDGF-R) mediated signaling, on the other hand, is highly associated with cancer progression. Specifically, PDGF-Rα and PDGF-Rβ expressions documented in breast cancer tissue specimens as well as breast cancer cell lines are correlated with tumor aggressiveness and metastasis. Imatinib (Glivec(®)) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor specific for PDGF-Rs, c-ΚΙΤ and BCR-ABL. In this study we evaluated the effects of imatinib on the properties of breast cancer cells as well as on the expression of HSPGs in the presence and absence of PDGF-BB. These studies have been conducted in a panel of three breast cancer cell lines of low and high metastatic potential. Our results indicate that imatinib exerts a significant inhibitory effect on breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration as well as on the cell surface expression of HSPGs even after exposure of PDGF. These effects depend on the aggressiveness of breast cancer cells and the type of HSPG. It is suggested that imatinib may be of potential therapeutic usefulness in breast cancer regimes.

Tsonis AI, Afratis N, Gialeli C, et al.
Evaluation of the coordinated actions of estrogen receptors with epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor receptor in the expression of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans and cell motility in breast cancer cells.
FEBS J. 2013; 280(10):2248-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
Estradiol (E2)-estrogen receptor (ER) actions are implicated in initiation, growth and progression of hormone-dependent breast cancer. Crosstalk between ERs, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and/or insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) is critical for the observed resistance to endocrine therapies. Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are principal mediators of cancer cell properties and the E2-ER pathway as well as those activated by EGFR and IGFR have significant roles in regulating the expression of certain cell surface HSPGs, such as syndecan-2 (SDC-2), syndecan-4 (SDC-4) and glypican-1. In this study, we therefore evaluated the role of EGFR-IGFR signaling on the constitutive expression and E2-mediated expression of ERs and HSPGs as well as the effect of E2-ERs and IGFR/EGFR-mediated cell migration in ERα+ (MCF-7) and ERβ+ (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells using specific intracellular inhibitors of EGFR and IGFR. We report that the expression of ERα is mainly enhanced by IGFR, whereas ERβ expression is mainly coordinated by EGFR. Moreover, constitutive SDC-2 expression in ERα+ and ERβ+ cells is mainly mediated through the IGFR, whereas in ERα+ E2-treated cells EGFR is the active one. In contrast, SDC-4 expression is regulated by IGFR in the presence and absence of E2. E2 also seems to diminish the inhibitory effect of EGFR and IGFR inhibitors in breast cancer cell migration. These data suggest that the coordinated action of ERs with EGFR and/or IGFR is of crucial importance, providing potential targets for designing and developing novel multi-potent agents for endocrine therapies.

Park CR, You DJ, Kim DK, et al.
CXCL14 enhances proliferation and migration of NCI-H460 human lung cancer cells overexpressing the glycoproteins containing heparan sulfate or sialic acid.
J Cell Biochem. 2013; 114(5):1084-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
CXCL14 is a chemokine family member that is involved in various cellular responses in addition to immune cell activation. Although constitutive CXCL14 expression in normal epithelial cells may help protect against infection by activating immune systems, its expression in cancer cells has raised controversy regarding its possible role in tumorigenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms for this disparity remain unknown. Investigation of cellular CXCL14 binding properties might increase our understanding of the peptide's roles in tumorigenesis. In the present study, we found that CXCL14 binds to various cell types. Interestingly, binding to NCI-H460 cells was prevented by heparan sulfate and N-acetyl neuraminic acid. Next, we examined effect of CXCL14 binding in NCI-H460 and NCI-H23. CXCL14 enhanced proliferation and migration in NCI-H460 but had no effect on NCI-H23. A reporter gene assay with various transcription factor response elements revealed that only nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling was activated by CXCL14 in NCI-H460 cells, which was blocked by BAPTA-AM, TPCA-1, and brefeldin A. Exogenous expression of some glycoproteins such as syndecan-4, podoplanin, and CD43 in these cells enhanced CXCL14 binding and NF-κB activity. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CXCL14 binding to glycoproteins harboring heparan sulfate proteoglycans and sialic acids leads proliferation and migration of some cancer cells.

Gialeli Ch, Theocharis AD, Kletsas D, et al.
Expression of matrix macromolecules and functional properties of EGF-responsive colon cancer cells are inhibited by panitumumab.
Invest New Drugs. 2013; 31(3):516-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the HER family receptors and its activation induced by its natural ligand EGF results in colon cancer growth and progression. Panitumumab (pmAb) is a fully human IgG2 anti-EGFR antibody that blocks the EGFR actions. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of pmAb on the EGF-mediated cellular responses in a panel of colon cancer cells (HCT-8, HT-29, DLD-1 and HCT-116). HCT-1116 and DLD-1 cells showed no significant EGF-dependent cell proliferation; HT-29 and HCT-8 exhibited an EGF-dependent proliferation, with HCT-8 cells to be the most responsive with significant EGFR phosphorylation upon treatment with EGF. The effects of pmAb were then evaluated in the most EGF-responsive cells, HCT-8. In that respect, pmAb impedes the signaling cascade mediated by EGFR intracellular phosphorylation and activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) as well as the EGF-induced invasive and migratory potential of colon cancer cells. At the level of matrix effectors implicated in colon cancer progression we report that pmAb is a potent inhibitor of constitute and EGF-mediated gene expression of certain matrix effectors, such as membrane-type 1 metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), extracellular metalloproteinases inducer (EMMPRIN), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and syndecan-4. The obtained data demonstrated that pmAb is a specific blocker of EGF-mediated EGFR activation, resulting in a significant inhibition of colon cancer cell proliferation in early stages of growth, migration and invasiveness as well as of matrix effector implicated in cancer progression.

Davies KD, Le AT, Theodoro MF, et al.
Identifying and targeting ROS1 gene fusions in non-small cell lung cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(17):4570-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Oncogenic gene fusions involving the 3' region of ROS1 kinase have been identified in various human cancers. In this study, we sought to characterize ROS1 fusion genes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and establish the fusion proteins as drug targets.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: An NSCLC tissue microarray (TMA) panel containing 447 samples was screened for ROS1 rearrangement by FISH. This assay was also used to screen patients with NSCLC. In positive samples, the identity of the fusion partner was determined through inverse PCR and reverse transcriptase PCR. In addition, the clinical efficacy of ROS1 inhibition was assessed by treating a ROS1-positive patient with crizotinib. The HCC78 cell line, which expresses the SLC34A2-ROS1 fusion, was treated with kinase inhibitors that have activity against ROS1. The effects of ROS1 inhibition on proliferation, cell-cycle progression, and cell signaling pathways were analyzed by MTS assay, flow cytometry, and Western blotting.
RESULTS: In the TMA panel, 5 of 428 (1.2%) evaluable samples were found to be positive for ROS1 rearrangement. In addition, 1 of 48 patients tested positive for rearrangement, and this patient showed tumor shrinkage upon treatment with crizotinib. The patient and one TMA sample displayed expression of the recently identified SDC4-ROS1 fusion, whereas two TMA samples expressed the CD74-ROS1 fusion and two others expressed the SLC34A2-ROS1 fusion. In HCC78 cells, treatment with ROS1 inhibitors was antiproliferative and downregulated signaling pathways that are critical for growth and survival.
CONCLUSIONS: ROS1 inhibition may be an effective treatment strategy for the subset of patients with NSCLC whose tumors express ROS1 fusion genes.

Dedes PG, Gialeli Ch, Tsonis AI, et al.
Expression of matrix macromolecules and functional properties of breast cancer cells are modulated by the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012; 1820(12):1926-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The extracellular matrix (ECM) components play key roles in the multistep process of cancer growth and progression. Preclinical and clinical data show that bisphosphonates (BPs) may exert direct or indirect antitumoral effects. Despite proven efficiency in cancer treatment, the mechanism by which BPs can interfere with cancer progression remains elusive.
METHODS: We investigated the effects of the third generation BP, zoledronate (zoledronic acid, Zometa®), in the expression of ECM macromolecules as well as the functional properties (proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion) in two breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) with different metastatic potentials.
RESULTS: The data highlight that zoledronate effectively inhibits growth of breast cancer cells, functional invasion migration and adhesion to various matrices. At the level of ECM interacting molecules, the expression of specific heparan sulfate proteoglycans implicated in cancer progression, such as syndecan-1, -2 and glypican-1 is downregulated, whereas syndecan-4 expression is upregulated upon treatment with zoledronate. The levels of integrins ανβ3, ανβ5 and α5β1 were significantly reduced following treatment with zoledronate which is in accordance with the reduced cell adhesion on various ECM matrices. The expression of hyaluronan and its receptor CD44 was also significantly suppressed. Moreover, ZOL suppressed the expression of metalloproteinases MMP-2, -9, the membrane type MT1- and MT2-MMP, whereas it increased the expression of their endogenous tissue inhibitors.
CONCLUSIONS AND GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The obtained results demonstrate that zoledronate is a critical modulator of ECM gene expression and powerful anticancer agent inhibiting growth, migration and the matrix-associated invasion of breast cancer cells.

Ridgway LD, Wetzel MD, Ngo JA, et al.
Heparanase-induced GEF-H1 signaling regulates the cytoskeletal dynamics of brain metastatic breast cancer cells.
Mol Cancer Res. 2012; 10(6):689-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
Heparanase is the only mammalian endoglycosidase which has been widely implicated in cancer because of its capability to degrade heparan sulfate chains of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG). Specifically, the cell surface HSPG syndecan-1 and -4 (SDC1 and SDC4) are modulators of growth factor action, and SDC4 is implicated in cell adhesion as a key member of focal adhesion complexes. We hypothesized that extracellular heparanase modulates brain metastatic breast cancer (BMBC) cell invasiveness by affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, SDC4 carboxy-terminal-associated proteins, and downstream targets. We used two independently derived human BMBC cell systems (MB-231BR and MB-231BR3), which possess distinct cellular morphologies and properties. Highly aggressive spindle-shaped 231BR3 cells changed to a round cell morphology associated with expression of the small GTPase guanine nucleotide exchange factor-H1 (GEF-H1). We showed that GEF-H1 is a new component of the SDC4 signaling complex in BMBC cells. Treatment with heparanase resulted in regulation of the SDC4/protein kinase C α axis while maintaining a constitutive GEF-H1 level. Third, GEF-H1 knockdown followed by cell exposure to heparanase caused a significant regulation of activities of Rac1 and RhoA, which are GEF-H1 targets and fundamental effectors in cell plasticity control. Fourth, L-heparanase augmented expression of β1 integrin in BMBC cells and of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1; the major β1 integrin receptor) in human brain microvascular endothelial cells. Finally, using a newly developed blood-brain barrier in vitro model, we show that BMBC cell transmigration was significantly reduced in GEF-H1 knockdown cells. These findings implicate heparanase in mechanisms of cytoskeletal dynamics and in the cross-talk between tumor cells and vascular brain endothelium. They are of relevance because they elucidate molecular events in the initial steps leading to BMBC onset and capturing distinct roles of latent and active heparanase in the brain microenvironment.

Chang SC, Mulloy B, Magee AI, Couchman JR
Two distinct sites in sonic Hedgehog combine for heparan sulfate interactions and cell signaling functions.
J Biol Chem. 2011; 286(52):44391-402 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hedgehog (Hh) proteins are morphogens that mediate many developmental processes. Hh signaling is significant for many aspects of embryonic development, whereas dysregulation of this pathway is associated with several types of cancer. Hh proteins require heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for their normal distribution and signaling activity. Here, we have used molecular modeling to examine the heparin-binding domain of sonic hedgehog (Shh). In biochemical and cell biological assays, the importance of specific residues of the putative heparin-binding domain for signaling was assessed. It was determined that key residues in human (h) Shh involved in heparin and HSPG syndecan-4 binding and biological activity included the well known cationic Cardin-Weintraub motif (lysines 32-38) but also a previously unidentified major role for lysine 178. The activity of Shh mutated in these residues was tested by quantitation of alkaline phosphatase activity in C3H10T1/2 cells differentiating into osteoblasts and hShh-inducible gene expression in PANC1 human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells. Mutated hShhs such as K37S/K38S, K178S, and particularly K37S/K38S/K178S that could not interact with heparin efficiently had reduced signaling activity compared with wild type hShh or a control mutation (K74S). In addition, the mutant hShh proteins supported reduced proliferation and invasion of PANC1 cells compared with control hShh proteins, following endogenous hShh depletion by RNAi knockdown. The data correlated with reduced Shh multimerization where the Lys-37/38 and/or Lys-178 mutations were examined. These studies provide a new insight into the functional roles of hShh interactions with HSPGs, which may allow targeting this aspect of hShh biology in, for example, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Vuoriluoto K, Högnäs G, Meller P, et al.
Syndecan-1 and -4 differentially regulate oncogenic K-ras dependent cell invasion into collagen through α2β1 integrin and MT1-MMP.
Matrix Biol. 2011; 30(3):207-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Syndecans function as co-receptors for integrins on different matrixes. Recently, syndecan-1 has been shown to be important for α2β1 integrin-mediated adhesion to collagen in tumor cells by regulating cell adhesion and migration on two-dimensional collagen. However, the function of syndecans in supporting α2β1 integrin interactions with three-dimensional (3D) collagen is less well studied. Using loss-of-function and overexpression experiments we show that in 3D collagen syndecan-4 supports α2β1-mediated collagen matrix contraction. Cell invasion through type I collagen containing 3D extracellular matrix (ECM) is driven by α2β1 integrin and membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP). Here we show that mutational activation of K-ras correlates with increased expression of α2β1 integrin, MT1-MMP, syndecan-1, and syndecan-4. While K-ras-induced α2β1 integrin and MT1-MMP are positive regulators of invasion, silencing and overexpression of syndecans demonstrate that these proteins inhibit cell invasion into collagen. Taken together, these data demonstrate the existence of a complex interplay between integrin α2β1, MT1-MMP, and syndecans in the invasion of K-ras mutant cells in 3D collagen that may represent a mechanism by which tumor cells become more invasive and metastatic.

Jerhammar F, Ceder R, Garvin S, et al.
Fibronectin 1 is a potential biomarker for radioresistance in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2010; 10(12):1244-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiotherapy remains the backbone of head and neck cancer therapy but response is sometimes impeded by tumor radioresistance. Identifying predictive biomarkers of radiotherapy response is a crucial step towards personalized therapy. The aim of this study was to explore gene expression data in search of biomarkers predictive of the response to radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Microarray analysis was performed on five cell lines with various intrinsic radiosensitivity, selected from a panel of 29 HNSCC cell lines. The bioinformatics approach included Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment profiling and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). The GO-analysis detected 16 deregulated categories from which development, receptor activity, and extracellular region represented the largest groups. Fourteen hub genes (CEBPA, CEBPB, CTNNB1, FN1, MYC, MYCN, PLAU, SDC4, SERPINE1, SP1, TAF4B, THBS1, TP53 and VLDLR) were identified from the IPA network analysis. The hub genes in the highest ranked network, (FN1, SERPINE1, THBS1 and VLDLR) were further subjected to qPCR analysis in the complete panel of 29 cell lines. Of these genes, high FN1 expression associated to high intrinsic radiosensitivity (p=0.047). In conclusion, gene ontologies and hub genes of importance for intrinsic radiosensitivity were defined. The overall results suggest that FN1 should be explored as a potential novel biomarker for radioresistance.

Ridgway LD, Wetzel MD, Marchetti D
Modulation of GEF-H1 induced signaling by heparanase in brain metastatic melanoma cells.
J Cell Biochem. 2010; 111(5):1299-309 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mechanisms of brain metastatic melanoma (BMM) remain largely unknown. Understanding the modulation of signaling pathways that alter BMM cell invasion and metastasis is critical to develop new therapies for BMM. Heparanase has been widely implicated in cancer and is the dominant mammalian endoglycosidase which degrades heparan sulfate chains of proteoglycans (HSPG) including syndecans (SDCs). Recent findings also indicate that heparanase possesses non-enzymatic functions in its latent form. We hypothesized that extracellular heparanase modulates BMM cell signaling by involving SDC1/4 carboxy terminal-associated proteins and downstream targets. We digested BMM cell surface HS with human recombinant active or latent heparanase to delineate their effects on cytoskeletal dynamics and cell invasiveness. We identified the small GTPase guanine nucleotide exchange factor-H1 (GEF-H1) as a new component of a SDC signaling complex that is differentially expressed in BMM cells compared to corresponding non-metastatic counterparts. Second, knockdown of GEF-H1, SDC1, or SDC4 decreased BMM cell invasiveness and GEF-H1 modulated small GTPase activity of Rac1 and RhoA in conjunction with heparanase treatment. Third, both active and latent forms of heparanase affected Rac1 and RhoA activity; notably increasing RhoA activity. Both forms of heparanase were found to mediate the expression and subcellular localization of GEF-H1, and treatment of BMM with latent heparanase modulated SDC1/4 gene expression. Finally, treatment with exogenous heparanase downregulated BMM cell invasion. These studies indicate the relevance of heparanase signaling pathways in BMM progression, and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating HSPG signaling in response to exogenous heparanase.

Marzioni D, Lorenzi T, Mazzucchelli R, et al.
Expression of basic fibroblast growth factor, its receptors and syndecans in bladder cancer.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Jul-Sep; 22(3):627-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a heparin-binding cationic protein involved in a variety of pathological conditions including angiogenesis and solid tumour growth. The basic fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) family comprises at least 4 high affinity tyrosine kinase receptors that require syndecans for their function. Mounting evidence indicates that syndecans, that bind both bFGF and their FGFRs, will act as stimulators, whereas syndecans that only bind bFGF will act as inhibitors of signaling by sequestering the growth factor. Recent findings have highlighted the importance of syndecans in urological cancers. The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of bFGF, its receptors (R1 and R2) and syndecans (1-4) in invasive urothelial carcinoma and normal-looking urothelium by Western blotting, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry analyses. Interestingly, bFGF, FGFR1 and FGFR2 protein levels statistically increased in bladder cancer tissues. mRNA of FGFR1 and syndecans (1-4), showed a statistically significant increase while an mRNA increase in the other molecules analysed was not significant. bFGF, its receptors and syndecan immunostaining were mainly present in the urothelium both in normal-looking tissues and urothelial neoplastic cells. In conclusion, our data report that the bFGF, FGFR and syndecan expressions are altered in bladder tumours.

Nord H, Segersten U, Sandgren J, et al.
Focal amplifications are associated with high grade and recurrences in stage Ta bladder carcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2010; 126(6):1390-402 [PubMed] Related Publications
Urinary bladder cancer is a heterogeneous disease with tumors ranging from papillary noninvasive (stage Ta) to solid muscle infiltrating tumors (stage T2+). The risk of progression and death for the most frequent diagnosed type, Ta, is low, but the high incidence of recurrences has a significant effect on the patients' quality of life and poses substantial costs for health care systems. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to search for predictive factors of recurrence on the basis of genetic profiling. A clinically well characterized cohort of Ta bladder carcinomas, selected by the presence or absence of recurrences, was evaluated by an integrated analysis of DNA copy number changes and gene expression (clone-based 32K, respectively, U133Plus2.0 arrays). Only a few chromosomal aberrations have previously been defined in superficial bladder cancer. Surprisingly, the profiling of Ta tumors with a high-resolution array showed that DNA copy alterations are relatively common in this tumor type. Furthermore, we observed an overrepresentation of focal amplifications within high-grade and recurrent cases. Known (FGFR3, CCND1, MYC, MDM2) and novel candidate genes were identified within the loci. For example, MYBL2, a nuclear transcription factor involved in cell-cycle progression; YWHAB, an antiapoptotic protein; and SDC4, an important component of focal adhesions represent interesting candidates detected within two amplicons on chromosome 20, for which DNA amplification correlated with transcript up-regulation. The observed overrepresentation of amplicons within high-grade and recurrent cases may be clinically useful for the identification of patients who will benefit from a more aggressive therapy.

O'Connell MP, Fiori JL, Kershner EK, et al.
Heparan sulfate proteoglycan modulation of Wnt5A signal transduction in metastatic melanoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2009; 284(42):28704-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are important modulators for optimizing signal transduction of many pathways, including the Wnt pathways. We demonstrate that HSPG glycosaminoglycan levels increased with increasing metastatic potential of melanoma cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that Wnt5A increases the invasiveness of melanoma cells. We further demonstrate that HSPGs potentiate Wnt5A signaling, since enzymatic removal of the HSPG backbone resulted in a decrease in cellular Wnt5A levels, an increase in secreted Wnt5A in cell media, a decrease in downstream signaling, and ultimately, a decrease in invasiveness. Specifically, syndecan 1 and syndecan 4 expression correlated to Wnt5A expression and melanoma malignancy. Knockdown of syndecan 1 or 4 caused decreases in cell invasion, which could be restored by treating the cells with recombinant Wnt5A. These data indicate that syndecan 1 and 4 correlate to increased metastatic potential in melanoma patients and are an important component of the Wnt5A autocrine signaling loop, the activation of which leads to increased metastasis of melanoma.

Kousidou OCh, Berdiaki A, Kletsas D, et al.
Estradiol-estrogen receptor: a key interplay of the expression of syndecan-2 and metalloproteinase-9 in breast cancer cells.
Mol Oncol. 2008; 2(3):223-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Estrogens are related with the growth and development of target tissues and play a critical role in breast cancer progression. The effects of estrogens are mediated by the estrogen receptors ERalpha and ERbeta, which are members of the nuclear steroid receptor superfamily. To date, it is not known how these hormones elicit many of their effects on extracellular matrix molecules and how these effects can be connected with ER expression. For this purpose, the effect of estradiol on ER expression as well as on proteoglycan and metalloproteinase expression was studied. The effect of E2 on extracellular matrix molecule expression has been studied using ERalpha suppression in breast cancer cells. Our studies using ERalpha-positive MCF-7 cells show that estradiol affects the expression of syndecan-2, but not of syndecan-4, through ERalpha. Furthermore, the ability of estradiol to affect MMP-9 and TIMP-1 expression is connected with ERalpha status. Together, these data demonstrate the significant role of ERalpha on mediating the effect of estradiol on extracellular matrix molecules.

Chalkiadaki G, Nikitovic D, Berdiaki A, et al.
Fibroblast growth factor-2 modulates melanoma adhesion and migration through a syndecan-4-dependent mechanism.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009; 41(6):1323-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), the most abundant growth factor produced by melanoma cells but not by normal melanocytes, is an important regulator of cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. In this study we show that M5 human metastatic melanoma cells' ability to migrate is significantly enhanced by exogenously added FGF-2 while, neutralization of endogenous FGF-2 stimulates their adhesion. Previously, we have demonstrated that FGF-2 distinctly modulates the synthesis of individual glycosaminoglycans/proteoglycans (GAGs/PGs) subclasses, changing both their amounts and distribution in M5 cells. Here, treatment with FGF-2 strongly reduces the expression levels of the heparan sulfate-containing proteoglycan, syndecan-4. Syndecan-4 is a focal adhesion component in a range of cell types, adherent to several different matrix molecules, including fibronectin (FN). The reduction in syndecan-4 expression by utilizing specific siRNA discriminately increased melanoma cell motility and decreased their attachment on FN, demonstrating a regulatory role of syndecan-4 on these cell functions. Syndecan-4 has previously been demonstrated to regulate focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation. In this study FGF-2 was shown to downregulate FAK Y397-phosphorylation during FN-mediated M5 cell adhesion, promoting their migration. The observed decrease in FAK Y397 activation was correlated to syndecan-4 expression levels. Thus, a balance in syndecan-4 expression perpetrated by FGF-2 may be required for optimal M5 cell migration. These results suggest that essential in melanoma progression FGF-2, specifically regulates melanoma cell ability to migrate through a syndecan-4-dependent mechanism.

Lange K, Kammerer M, Saupe F, et al.
Combined lysophosphatidic acid/platelet-derived growth factor signaling triggers glioma cell migration in a tenascin-C microenvironment.
Cancer Res. 2008; 68(17):6942-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
The antiadhesive extracellular matrix molecule tenascin-C abrogates cell spreading on fibronectin through competitive inhibition of syndecan-4, thereby preventing focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation and triggering enhanced proteolytic degradation of both RhoA and tropomyosin 1 (TM1). Here, we show that simultaneous signaling by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) initiates glioma cell spreading and migration through syndecan-4-independent activation of paxillin and FAK and by stabilizing expression of RhoA, TM1, TM2, and TM3. By using gene silencing methods, we show that paxillin, TM1, TM2, and TM3 are essential for LPA/PDGF-induced cell spreading on a fibronectin/tenascin-C (FN/TN) substratum. LPA/PDGF-induced cell spreading and migration on FN/TN depends on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, RhoKinase, and mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase 1/2 but is independent of phospholipase C and Jun kinase. RNA microarray data reveal expression of tenascin-C, PDGFs, LPA, and the respective receptors in several types of cancer, suggesting that the TN/LPA/PDGF axis exists in malignant tumors. These findings may in turn be relevant for diagnostic or therapeutic applications targeting cancer.

Lange K, Kammerer M, Hegi ME, et al.
Endothelin receptor type B counteracts tenascin-C-induced endothelin receptor type A-dependent focal adhesion and actin stress fiber disorganization.
Cancer Res. 2007; 67(13):6163-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tenascin-C, an extracellular matrix molecule of the tumor-specific microenvironment, counteracts the tumor cell proliferation-suppressing effect of fibronectin by blocking the integrin alpha(5)beta(1)/syndecan-4 complex. This causes cell rounding and stimulates tumor cell proliferation. Tenascin-C also stimulates endothelin receptor type A (EDNRA) expression. Here, we investigated whether signaling through endothelin receptors affects tenascin-C-induced cell rounding. We observed that endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB) activation inhibited cell rounding by tenascin-C and induced spreading by restoring expression and function of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), paxillin, RhoA, and tropomyosin-1 (TM1) via activation of epidermal growth factor receptor, phospholipase C, c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway. In contrast to EDNRB, signaling through EDNRA induced cell rounding, which correlated with FAK inhibition and TM1 and RhoA protein destabilization in the presence of tenascin-C. This occurred in a mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase-dependent manner. Thus, tumorigenesis might be enhanced by tenascin-C involving EDNRA signaling. Inhibition of tenascin-C in combination with blocking both endothelin receptors could present a strategy for sensitization of cancer and endothelial cells toward anoikis.

Tímár J, Mészáros L, Ladányi A, et al.
Melanoma genomics reveals signatures of sensitivity to bio- and targeted therapies.
Cell Immunol. 2006; 244(2):154-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Most of the melanoma markers used today are melanocytic markers or pigmentation pathway-associated genes driven by the microphthalmia transcription factor, MITF, and include among others, tyrosinase, dopachrome tautomerase, DCT, melan-A and S100B. Genomic studies repeatedly revealed several novel melanoma marker genes including those of the transcription factor NOTCH2, WNT5A, proliferation-associated genes TOPO2A and CDC2, membrane receptors FGFR and EphA3, adhesion molecules N-cadherin, beta3 integrin and syndecan-4, and the cell surface antigens CD59/protectin and MIA. Other genomic analyses tried to define the gene signature of the metastatic disease but failed to find a consistent one except the gold standard genes of beta3 integrin, syndecan-4 and WNT5a. Studies on the gene signatures of chemoresistance and cytokine sensitivity of melanoma clearly defined apoptosis-resistance as one of the key elements of the above biological properties, but the data are controversial, mostly because of the use of inappropriate model systems and the lack of confirmation on clinical samples. Accordingly, application of genomic technologies must be more "translational" to provide breakthrough in melanoma diagnosis and therapy.

Baba F, Swartz K, van Buren R, et al.
Syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 are overexpressed in an estrogen receptor-negative, highly proliferative breast carcinoma subtype.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2006; 98(1):91-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Members of the syndecan and glypican families of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are modulators of growth factor signaling and cell adhesion. Both loss and gain in expression of syndecans and glypicans has been associated with malignant progression. The goal of this project was to investigate a possible relationship between expression of cell surface HSPGs (syndecan-1, syndecan-4 and glypican-1) and established prognostic factors or clinical outcome in breast carcinomas. Tissue arrays containing 207 human breast carcinoma samples in duplicate were immuno-labeled with antibodies to syndecan-1, syndecan-4, glypican-1, Ki67, E-cadherin, estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR). Clinical follow-up information was available for up to 18.6 years (median follow-up 6.2 years). Syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 expression in carcinoma cells ranged from complete loss to high expression, but glypican-1 was detected only in a small subset of breast carcinomas. Expression of all three HSPGs was significantly associated with the Ki67 proliferation index (syndecan-1: p=0.0025; syndecan-4: p<0.0001; glypican-1 p=0.01). Syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 expression correlated with ER negativity, grade, and size of the primary tumors. Syndecan-1 expression (but not syndecan-4 nor glypican-1) predicted patient outcome (DFS: p=0.0054; OS: p=0.0086). However, multivariate analysis failed to identify syndecan-1 as an independent prognostic marker, which was due to its significant association with established prognostic factors. The strong association between cell surface HSPGs and the Ki67 proliferation marker would support a biologic role in carcinoma growth regulation. Furthermore, the close correlation between syndecan expression and negative ER status raises the possibility of hormonal regulation or more likely an association with an aggressive, ER-negative carcinoma phenotype.

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