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Cell Adh Migr. 2008 Jul-Sep;2(3):192-201. Epub 2008 Jul 13.

A role for the NG2 proteoglycan in glioma progression.

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  • 1Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Cancer Research Center, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Many human gliomas carry markers characteristic of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (such as Olig-2, PDGF alpha receptor and NG2 proteoglycan), suggesting these progenitors as the cells of origin for glioma initiation. This review considers the potential roles of the NG2 proteoglycan in glioma progression. NG2 is expressed not only by glioma cells and by oligodendrocyte progenitors, but also by pericytes associated with the tumor microvasculature. The proteoglycan may therefore promote tumor vascularization and recruitment of normal progenitors to the tumor mass, in addition to mediating expansion of the transformed cell population. Along with potentiating growth factor signaling and serving as a cell surface receptor for extracellular matrix components, NG2 also has the ability to mediate activation of beta-1 integrins. These molecular interactions allow the proteoglycan to contribute to critical processes such as cell proliferation, cell motility and cell survival.

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