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Chemical Tumor Biology of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans

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Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) play vital roles in every step of tumor progression allowing cancer cells to proliferate, escape from immune response, invade neighboring tissues, and metastasize to distal sites away from the primary site. Several cancers including breast, lung, brain, pancreatic, skin, and colorectal cancers show aberrant modulation of several key HS biosynthetic enzymes such as 3-O Sulfotransferase and 6-O Sulfotransferase, and also catabolic enzymes such as HSulf-1, HSulf-2 and heparanase. The resulting tumor specific HS fine structures assist cancer cells to breakdown ECM to spread, misregulate signaling pathways to facilitate their proliferation, promote angiogenesis to receive nutrients, and protect themselves against natural killer cells. This review focuses on the changes in the expression of HS biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes in several cancers, the resulting changes in HS fine structures, and the effects of these tumor specific HS signatures on promoting invasion, proliferation, and metastasis. It is possible to retard tumor progression by modulating the deregulated biosynthetic and catabolic pathways of HS chains through novel chemical biology approaches.





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Keywords: Proteoglycan; cancer; heparan sulfate; heparanase; sulfatase; sulfotransferase

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

    Current Chemical Biology covers the following areas: Chemical Synthesis (Syntheses of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, polypeptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides etc.; Asymmetric synthesis; Combinatorial synthesis; Diversity-oriented synthesis; Template-directed synthesis; Biomimetic synthesis; Solid phase biomolecular synthesis; Synthesis of small biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleosides; and Natural product synthesis).

    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).
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