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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Jun 28;1689(2):152-61.

Matrix proteoglycans are markedly affected in advanced laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biochemistry, Section of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Natural Products, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece.


Proteoglycans (PGs) are implicated in the growth and progression of malignant tumors. In this study, we examined the concentration and localization of PGs in advanced (stage IV) laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) and compared with human normal larynx (HNL). LSCC and HNL sections were examined immunohistochemically with a panel of antibodies, and tissues extracts were analyzed by biochemical methods including immunoblotting and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results demonstrated significant destruction of cartilage in LSCC, which was followed by marked decrease of aggrecan and link protein. In contrast to the loss of aggrecan in LSCC, accumulation of versican and decorin was observed in the tumor-associated stroma. Biochemical analyses indicated that aggrecan, versican, decorin and biglycan comprise the vast majority of total PGs in both healthy and cancerous tissue. In LSCC the absolute amounts of KS/CS/DS-containing PGs were dramatically decreased about 18-fold in comparison to HNL. This decrease is due to the loss of aggrecan. Disaccharide analysis of CS/DSPGs from LSCC showed a significant reduction of 6-sulfated Delta-disaccharides (Deltadi-6S) with a parallel increase of 4-sulfated Delta-disaccharides (Deltadi-4S) as compared to HNL. The obtained data clearly demonstrate that tumor progression is closely related to specific alteration of matrix PGs in LSCC. The altered composition of PGs in cartilage, as well as in tumor-associated stroma, is crucial for the biological behaviour of cancer cells in the diseased tissue.

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