Batool T, Fang J, Barash U, Moustakas A, Vlodavsky I, Li JP
FEBS Open Bio 7 (3) 405-413 [2017-03-00; online 2017-02-11]
Heparan sulfate (HS) mediates the activity of various growth factors including TGF-β. Heparanase is an endo-glucuronidase that specifically cleaves and modifies HS structure. In this study, we examined the effect of heparanase expression on TGF-β1-dependent signaling activities. We found that overexpression of heparanase in human tumor cells (i.e., Fadu pharyngeal carcinoma, MCF7 breast carcinoma) attenuated TGF-β1-stimulated Smad phosphorylation and led to a slower cell proliferation. TGF-β1-stimulated Akt and Erk phosphorylation was also affected in the heparanase overexpression cells. This effect involved the enzymatic activity of heparanase, as overexpression of mutant inactive heparanase did not affect TGF-β1 signaling activity. Analysis of HS isolated from Fadu cells revealed an increase in sulfation of the HS that had a rapid turnover in cells overexpressing heparanase. It appears that the structural alterations of HS affect the ability of TGF-β1 to signal via its receptors and elicit a growth response. Given that heparanase expression promotes tumor growth in most cancers, this finding highlights a crosstalk between heparanase, HS, and TGF-β1 function in tumorigenesis.