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Blood. 2007 Sep 15;110(6):2041-8. Epub 2007 May 29.

The syndecan-1 heparan sulfate proteoglycan is a viable target for myeloma therapy.

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Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


The heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-1 is expressed by myeloma cells and shed into the myeloma microenvironment. High levels of shed syndecan-1 in myeloma patient sera correlate with poor prognosis and studies in animal models indicate that shed syndecan-1 is a potent stimulator of myeloma tumor growth and metastasis. Overexpression of extracellular endosulfatases, enzymes which remove 6-O sulfate groups from heparan sulfate chains, diminishes myeloma tumor growth in vivo. Together, these findings identify syndecan-1 as a potential target for myeloma therapy. Here, 3 different strategies were tested in animal models of myeloma with the following results: (1) treatment with bacterial heparinase III, an enzyme that degrades heparan sulfate chains, dramatically inhibited the growth of primary tumors in the human severe combined immunodeficient (SCID-hu) model of myeloma; (2) treatment with an inhibitor of human heparanase, an enzyme that synergizes with syndecan-1 in promoting myeloma progression, blocked the growth of myeloma in vivo; and (3) knockdown of syndecan-1 expression by RNAi diminished and delayed myeloma tumor development in vivo. These results confirm the importance of syndecan-1 in myeloma pathobiology and provide strong evidence that disruption of the normal function or amount of syndecan-1 or its heparan sulfate chains is a valid therapeutic approach for this cancer.

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