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Cancer Res. 1994 Sep 15;54(18):5016-20.

Expression and localization of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor in human gliomas.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptors (uPARs) play an important role in tumor invasion by localizing degradative enzymes at the invasive zone. In the present study, we examined the presence and distribution of uPARs in human gliomas in vivo. The amounts of uPARs were measured by radioreceptor assays and Northern blotting and were significantly higher in anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas than they were in normal brain tissues and low-grade gliomas. In situ hybridization was performed to investigate the cellular source of uPAR mRNA in various types of astrocytomas and normal brain tissues. uPAR mRNA was localized in astrocytoma cells and endothelial cells within tumor tissue, especially near sites of vascular proliferation and at the leading edges of tumors. uPAR mRNA was also expressed in tumor cells near necrotic areas. Expression was barely detectable in low-grade astrocytomas and normal brain tissues. These results suggest that expression of uPAR in the invading astrocytoma cells may play a significant role in the invasive behaviors of glioblastomas.

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