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FEBS Lett. 2012 Jul 30;586(16):2207-11. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.05.037. Epub 2012 May 31.

Syndecans play dual roles as cell adhesion receptors and docking receptors.

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Department of Life Sciences, Division of Molecular Life Sciences and Center for Cell Signaling Research, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-725, Republic of Korea.


Syndecan are a family of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans that act as cell surface receptors. Most cell surface receptors have a limited number and type of ligand interactions, responding only to the binding of (a) specific ligand(s). In contrast, syndecans can interact with various numbers and types of ligands, and thus play more diverse roles than others. Various syndecan functions have not yet been fully classified and categorized, but we herein review previous studies suggesting that syndecans play dual function as cell surface receptors by acting as both adhesion receptors and docking receptors. Through this dual regulatory function, syndecans are capable of regulating both intra- and extracellular activities, potentially altering a variety of cell behaviors.

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