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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 453801, 8 pages
Review Article

Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans May Promote or Inhibit Cancer Progression by Interacting with Integrins and Affecting Cell Migration

1Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-913 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Serviço de Patologia, Hospital Naval Marcílio Dias, 20725-090 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Hospital Naval Marcílio Dias, Instituto de Pesquisas Biomédicas, 20725-090 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 6 June 2015; Revised 28 August 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Katalin Dobra

Copyright © 2015 Mariana A. Soares et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The metastatic disease is one of the main consequences of tumor progression, being responsible for most cancer-related deaths worldwide. This review intends to present and discuss data on the relationship between integrins and heparan sulfate proteoglycans in health and cancer progression. Integrins are a family of cell surface transmembrane receptors, responsible for cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion. Integrins’ main functions include cell adhesion, migration, and survival. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are cell surface molecules that play important roles as cell receptors, cofactors, and overall direct or indirect contributors to cell organization. Both molecules can act in conjunction to modulate cell behavior and affect malignancy. In this review, we will discuss the different contexts in which various integrins, such as α5, αV, β1, and β3, interact with HSPGs species, such as syndecans and perlecans, affecting tissue homeostasis.