IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 15 / DOI: 10.2741/3108

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Hyaluronan and hyaluronidase in genitourinary tumors
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1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Eppley Cancer Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
2 Departments of Urology, Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: George P. Hemstreet

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(15), 5664–5680;
Published: 1 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes in genitourinary neoplasia)

Genitourinary cancers are the most frequently diagnosed cancers in men and the fifth most common in women. Management of disease through accurate and cost effective early diagnostic markers, as well as identification of valid prognostic indicators, has contributed significantly to improved treatment outcomes. In this review, we will discuss the function, regulation and clinical utility of hyaluronan (HA), genes encoding its metabolic enzymes and receptors that mediate its cellular effects. Specific HA synthase (HAS) and hyaluronidase (HAase) genes encode the enzymes that produce HA polymers and oligosaccharides, respectively. Differential effects of these enzymes in progression of genitourinary tumors are determined by the relative balance between HAS and HAase levels, as well as the distribution of receptors. The genes are regulated in a complex fashion at the transcriptional and post-translational levels, but also by epigenetic events, alternative mRNA splicing, and subcellular localization. Importantly, the major tumor-derived HAase enzyme, HYAL-1, either alone or together with HA, is an accurate diagnostic and prognostic marker for genitourinary tumors.

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