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Am J Pathol. 2003 May;162(5):1403-9.

Perturbation of hyaluronan interactions inhibits malignant properties of glioma cells.

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Malignant progression of gliomas is characterized by acquisition of inappropriate growth and invasive properties. In vitro, these malignant properties are reflected in, and measured by, the ability to grow in an anchorage-independent manner and to invade artificial extracellular matrices. The results of numerous studies have suggested that the extracellular and pericellular matrix polysaccharide, hyaluronan, plays an important role in these attributes of malignant cancer cells. However, with respect to glioma cells, most studies have addressed the effect of exogenously added hyaluronan rather than the function of endogenous tumor cell-associated hyaluronan. In this study we manipulate hyaluronan-glioma cell interactions by two methods. The first is administration of small hyaluronan oligosaccharides that compete for endogenous hyaluronan polymer interactions, resulting in attenuation of hyaluronan-induced signaling. The second is overexpression of soluble hyaluronan-binding proteins that act as a competitive sink for interaction with endogenous hyaluronan, again leading to attenuated signaling. We find that both treatments inhibit anchorage-independent growth, as measured by colony formation in soft agar, and invasiveness, as measured by penetration of reconstituted basement membrane matrices. Based on our findings, we conclude that endogenous hyaluronan interactions are essential for these two fundamental malignant properties of glioma cells.

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