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Heparanase promotes lymphangiogenesis and tumor invasion in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
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2014 (English)In: Oncogene, ISSN 0950-9232, E-ISSN 1476-5594, Vol. 33, no 14, 1799-1808 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Heparan sulfate proteoglycans are an important and abundant component of the extracellular matrix, which undergo substantial remodeling throughout tumorigenesis via the enzymatic activity of heparanase. Heparanase has been shown to be upregulated in many human cancers; however, its specific functions in human pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) and spontaneous mouse models of cancer have not been evaluated. Here, we investigated the role of heparanase in PanNETs using patient samples and the RIP1-Tag2 (RT2) PanNET-transgenic mouse model. High heparanase expression significantly correlated with more advanced tumor stage, higher tumor grade and the presence of distant metastasis in PanNET patients. We genetically manipulated heparanase levels in the RT2 model using heparanase-transgenic mice, which constitutively overexpress heparanase, and heparanase-knockout mice. Heparanase was found to have a critical role in promoting tumor invasion, through both macrophage and cancer cell sources in the tumor microenvironment. In addition, elevated heparanase levels significantly increased peritumoral lymphangiogenesis in vivo and promoted the trans-differentiation of macrophages into lymphatic endothelial cell-like structures in culture. Conversely, we found that heparanase deletion led to increased angiogenesis and pericyte coverage. Together, these data identify important roles for heparanase in regulating several critical aspects of tumorigenesis, demonstrating that heparanase represents a potential therapeutic target for PanNET patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 33, no 14, 1799-1808 p.
Keyword [en]
tumor microenvironment, tumor-associated macrophages, matrix-degrading enzyme, heparan sulfate proteoglycans
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224743DOI: 10.1038/onc.2013.142ISI: 000334345500006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-224743DiVA: diva2:718325
Available from: 2014-05-20 Created: 2014-05-19 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved

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Li, Jin-ping
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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology
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