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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2015, Article ID 537560, 25 pages
Review Article

Utilization of Glycosaminoglycans/Proteoglycans as Carriers for Targeted Therapy Delivery

1Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
2Department of Biomedical Engineering/ND20, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
3Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 114 Doughty Street, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

Received 20 September 2014; Revised 19 January 2015; Accepted 15 February 2015

Academic Editor: Pavel Hozak

Copyright © 2015 Suniti Misra 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 outcome of patients with cancer has improved significantly in the past decade with the incorporation of drugs targeting cell surface adhesive receptors, receptor tyrosine kinases, and modulation of several molecules of extracellular matrices (ECMs), the complex composite of collagens, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and glycosaminoglycans that dictates tissue architecture. Cancer tissue invasive processes progress by various oncogenic strategies, including interfering with ECM molecules and their interactions with invasive cells. In this review, we describe how the ECM components, proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, influence tumor cell signaling. In particular this review describes how the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA) and its major receptor CD44 impact invasive behavior of tumor cells, and provides useful insight when designing new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of cancer.